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新西兰灭鼠大战

The Rat Apocalypse in New Zealand

Recently New Zealanders have been spending their free time doing something unusual.
最近新西兰人空闲时在做一件不寻常的事
They’re trapping rats.
他们在抓老鼠
It’s a common pastime.
这是一种常见的消遣
Rats are an invasive predator in New Zealand.
在新西兰 老鼠是外来入侵捕食者
so the country’s come up with an ambitious plan to kill them,
所以国家提出一项宏大计划 消灭它们
all of them.
全部消灭
But could this ever possibly work?
但这有可能成功么?
the idea file
思想档案
The rats that were introduced to New Zealand are just the rats that we’re all familiar with.
引入新西兰的老鼠正是我们常见的那种
They have extraordinary senses of smell or touch.
它们的嗅觉和触觉异常灵敏
They are incredibly resourceful,
还极其狡猾
which is partly why they’re a problem.
它们为何棘手就可见一斑了
Rats were first introduced into the country in the 13th century
十三世纪时 老鼠们搭了远航划艇
when they hitched rides on voyaging canoes.
第一次进入新西兰
Before then, the only mammals on the island were tiny finger-sized bats.
此前 岛上哺乳动物只有指头大的小蝙蝠
Rats are prolific. They breed easily. They get everywhere.
老鼠多产 还经常交配 四处横行
They’re very hard to get rid of once they’re in a place.
它们一旦出现就很难彻底清除
Invasive predators like rats are a nuisance everywhere.
像老鼠这种入侵物种在哪儿都招人讨厌
But in New Zealand they’re causing an ecological disaster.
而在新西兰 它们正引发一场生态灾难
Islands worldwide tend to be hotbeds of evolution
全球的岛屿常常成为进化的温床
because the animals and plants that find themselves in islands
因为岛上的动植物物种
are separated off from relatives on the mainland,
与它们大陆上的亲缘物种相隔离
and so evolve in their own weird and wonderful ways.
于是它们可以以自己怪异又奇妙的方式进化
The bird life in New Zealand became incredibly diverse.
新西兰的鸟类变得极多样
They are also because of the history exquisively vulnerable.
但正因为特别的进化史 它们也极为脆弱
There are many of them flightless,
它们许多都不会飞行
which means it’s very hard for them to escape or to run away.
也就是说 它们很难逃脱或跑走
Remember these birds evolved
记得吧 这些鸟类是在
without the mammalian predators.
没有哺乳类捕食者的情况下进化来的
Many of them don’t exist anywhere else in the world.
许多鸟类都此地独有
Now they’re easy prey for hungry rodents.
于是很容易落入饥饿的啮齿动物口中
They have wiped out around a quarter
外来啮齿动物毁灭了近1/4的
of New Zealand’s native bird species.
新西兰本土鸟类物种
So the worry is that if the rat problem is not adressed
所以人们担心 如果老鼠问题不解决
many more of these unique species are going to go extinct.
更多独特物种将会灭绝
With the fate of rare birds like the Kiwi and the kakapo at stake,
随着几维鸟和鸮鹦鹉之类珍稀鸟类的命运危在旦夕
New Zealand is enacting a radical new plan
新西兰颁布了一个激进的新计划
called Predator Free 2050.
叫“2050清除掠食者计划”
We want to create a new New Zealand
我们想建立一个新的新西兰
a safe predator-free sanctuary
为我们本土的鸟和动物们
for our native birds and animals.
打造一个没有掠食者的安全避难所
Predator Free 2050 is New Zealand’s ambitious goal
“2050清除掠食者”是新西兰的雄心壮志
to rid the entire country of introduced mamilian predators,
旨在清除整个国家的外来哺乳类掠食者
rats, ferrets, and possums.
包括老鼠 雪貂 负鼠
Currently, New Zealand’s predator-free approach consists of
目前 新西兰清除掠食者的方法包括
using pesticides and encouraging citizen trapping.
使用杀虫剂和鼓励公民捕捉
But they have a lot of ground to cover.
但他们需要在大片国土中完成清除
The largest success story ever for rat eradication
根除老鼠的最成功案例
has been Macquarie Island in Australia which is 50 square miles.
发生在50平方英里的澳大利亚麦格里岛
Now New Zealand is 2,000 times that size.
而新西兰面积是它的2000倍
It’s huge.
太巨大了
The idea of doing that across an entire country
在整个国家范围内实施清除计划的想法
still just seems like such a monumental task.
看起来仍然是个极其繁重的任务
You need to be dropping poisons about the place.
你需要在整个地区投放毒药
You need to be scouring acres of land looking for signs of rats.
你需要大片大片地搜索老鼠的踪迹
In addition to these grassroots measures,
除了这些基础措施
they’re considering a revolutionary new technique,
他们还在考虑一项革命性新技术
a technique for editing DNA,
一项编辑基因的技术
CRISPR combines with a technology called gene drives.
基因编辑技术结合一项称为基因驱动器的技术
Gene drives are still in the experimental stage.
基因驱动器仍在试验阶段
In simple terms, the technology implants a specific gene into one generation
简言之 这项技术向某一代植入特定基因
and ensures its rapid spread.
并且确保它快速传播
You could imagine for example
比如你可以想象一下
spreading a gene through populations of mosquitoes to make them sterie
在蚊子群体中传播一个基因使它们不孕
or in this case through populations of rats to make them infertile.
或这个案例中在鼠群中传播使老鼠不孕
If this strategy succeeds,
如果这个策略成功
it could be applied in other ecosystems
它便可能应用到其他生态系统
and help endangered species rebound around the world.
帮助全球濒危物种数量回升
But it’s incredibly risky.
但是它极具风险
The worry is that
令人担心的是
gene drives are so good
基因驱动器如此擅长
at spreading genes across wild populations
在野生种群中传播基因
that it would then be very easy for it
那么基因也将很容易
to spread beyond New Zealand’s borders,
传播到新西兰国土以外
to other parts of the world.
到世界其他地方
What happens if you wipe out rats from everywhere in the world?
如果全世界的老鼠都清除了会发生什么?
Entire food webs might collapse.
整个食物链可能会崩溃
But a New Zealand without rats
但是一个没有老鼠的新西兰
could allow its unique birds to thrive again.
可以使其独特的鸟类再次兴旺起来
You get to hear birds’ song in places that are currently silent.
现在沉寂的地方将再次听得到鸟儿歌唱
Species that were on the brink of extinction come back.
濒临灭绝的物种将数量回升
Near New Zealand’s capital city
在新西兰首都附近
there’s 500 acres that are already cause for hope.
有五百英亩的区域已经呈现生机
It’s called Zealandia.
那里叫作西兰蒂亚
It’s this huge Nature Reserve
这个庞大的自然保护区
built this incredible predator proof fence around
在其周围建造了巨大的掠食者防护屏障
and they’ve introduced a ton of birds.
并且引进了大量的鸟类
And you can walk around
你可以在此漫游
and you hear the sounds of all these birds,
并欣赏各种鸟儿的歌声
gives you a very audible sense of how much the country is lost,
你可以用耳朵去感知这个国家失去了多少
and how much it stands to gain.
以及可能挽回多少
While strides in conservation have been made,
尽管保护取得了进步
there’s more work to be done before CRISPR comes into play.
在应用基因编辑技术前还有更多工作要做
The plan will need political support,
这个计划将需要政治上的支持
and a lot of funding to develop technology,
以及大量资金去发展技术
to do what’s never been done before.
去做前无古人的事
Until then, rat trapping will remain a popular pastime.
那以前 捕鼠将依然是一种流行的消遣
Hi, everyone, I’m Ed Yong.
大家好 我是Ed Yong
I work at the Atlantic where I write about science and nature.
我在大西洋日报工作 进行科学和自然科普
Thanks for looking at our video.
感谢观看我们的视频
We hope you enjoyed it.
希望您喜欢
Please don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel
请不要忘记订阅我们的YouTube频道
and check back often for more videos in the future.
并经常来收看我们更多的视频

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视频概述

新西兰为了保护自己独有珍惜鸟类向外来捕食者发起大战,宏大的作战计划中还引入了基因工程高科技。重重围追堵截下看老鼠哪里逃。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

Joanna.J

审核员

审核员XY

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewz9L3KB9cg

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