U of M's Raptor Center plans Galapagos trip to help endangered animals

Officials with the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota are heading to the Galapagos island of Pinzon to help endangered tortoises and hawks. The trip is a follow-up a mission last year to eradicate the island of black rats, which are threatening the island's ecosystem.
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Officials with the Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota are heading to the Galapagos island of Pinzon to help endangered tortoises and hawks, WCCO-TV reported.

The trip is a follow-up a mission last year to eradicate the island of black rats. The Raptor Center will help poison the rats, and attempt to capture and hold hawks in captivity to prevent them from eating the rats after they've been poisoned, reported WCCO.

The rats are also responsible for feeding on the eggs and hatchlings of the giant tortoise -- which is considered extinct in the wild -- inhibiting successful reproduction of the species for nearly 150 years.

The Raptor Center's executive director Julie Ponder is documenting the mission on the Raptor Center's blog.

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