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Isla de Ratones (Ponce, Puerto Rico) facts for kids

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Ratones
Native name:
Isla de Ratones
Isla Ratones (vista desde el Hotel Ponce Holiday Inn), Ponce, PR (DSC05629).jpg
Isla Ratones, as seen from Barrio Canas, Ponce, PR
Geography
Location Ponce, Puerto Rico
Area 0.03 km2 (0.012 sq mi)
Administration
Commonwealth Puerto Rico
Municipality Ponce
Barrio Playa
Demographics
Population 0

Isla de Ratones is a small uninhabited island off the southern coast of Puerto Rico, off the coast of Ponce. The island is part of barrio Canas in the municipality of Ponce. The island gained attention in 2010 when the Puerto Rican Bird Society made it a target for the eradication of the black rat. While named as one single island, it is actually composed of two islands separated by a few feet of shallow water during high tide, which become a single island at low tide.

Location

The island, sometimes erroneously considered a cay (or key), is located 0.62 mi (1.0 km) south of the mainland Puerto Rican shore across from Punta Cucharas in barrio Canas. The island has an area of 6.94 cuerdas (one cuerda equals 0.97 acres) It is located at latitude 17.95500° and longitude -66.68139°. The short distance from the mainland shore makes Ratones a popular landing point for aquatic events such as kayaking. Together with Caja de Muertos, Gatas, Morrillito, Cardona, Isla del Frio, and Isla de Jueyes, Ratones is one of seven islands in the municipality of Ponce.

Geography and climate

The island is a small low island covered mostly by brushwood. The climate is dry and the island supports dry forest. While named as one single island, it is actually composed of two islands separated by a few feet of shallow water during high tide, which become a single island at low time. At low tide the size of the island increases from 6.94 cuerdas (one cuerda equals 0.97 acres) to 12.35 acres. This low-tide size makes Isla de Ratones about 50% larger than the more prominent Cardona which, at 8.71 acres (3.52 ha), is home to the Cardona Island Light and is located 2.96 miles (4.77 kilometers) to the east.

Origin of the name

The name Ratones, which translates into "Mice", comes from the large number of rodents found in the island. In 2010, the Sociedad Ornitológica Puertorriqueña (Puerto Rican Bird Society) and the Ponce Yacht and Fishing Club launched a campaign to eradicate the black rat from the Island.

Nature reserve

Though not officially a nature reserve, the island is administered by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

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