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Mice Plague in Australia


PBOF. W. A. OSBORNE, University of Melbourne, sends us the following cutting from the Melbourne Argus of March 30, dealing with the present mouse plague in Victoria, Australia: “After all wheat had been trucked from the Lah railway station, near Warracknabeal, a raid was made upon the mice. The site was fenced, and two 40-gallon oil drums were sunk in the ground. The dunnage was then cleared and the mice driven into the drums. On the first night the catch, placed on the weighbridge, weighed one ton, and on two successive nights 8 cwt. and 10 cwt. were caught, the weight for the three nights being nearly two tons.” Prof. Osborne informs us that the greatest visitation of these pests occurred in 1917, when enormous stacks of bagged wheat remained in various railway sidings. The plague was first noticed in February and March of 1917; it was at its acme between April and August of the same year. At Lascelles, three tons, approximately 200,000 mice, were caught in one night. Until the end of June 1917, the recorded total caught was 544 tons, at least 32,000,000 mice.

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Mice Plague in Australia. Nature 129, 755 (1932).

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