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Guam is plagued by alien snakes and deadly spiders


Guam's bird population is declining due to alien snakes, which has caused a spider outbreak.


Sean Gallup

For those who fear snakes and/or spiders, do not book your next holiday in Guam.

A new study said that Guam's jungles have 40 times more spiders than its Pacific neighbors as an alien snake is killing the native bird population.

The destruction of the birds, said ScienceBlog, is killing off spiders' natural predators, making them more abundant.

CBS reported that the bird-eating snake was introduced in Guam in the 1940s and quickly became the dominant predator.

The news organization said that by the 1980s the snake had wiped out 10 out of 12 of the native bird species.

The only two left are in small areas protected by snake-trappers.

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The current study counted the amount of spiders in Guam by counting webs - a rather tedious task we're sure.

"Anytime you have a reduction in insectivorous birds, the system will probably respond with an increase in spiders," said lead author Haldre Rogers, a researcher at Rice University, reported OurAmazingPlanet.

"With insectivorous birds in decline in many places in the world, I suspect there has been a concurrent increase in spiders."

OurAmazingPlanet reported that Guam already spends $1 million on searching planes for snakes to ensure they don't spread.

Apparently, they're tough to find both in the wild and when they're stowaways.

The study was published in the journal PloS One.