However, all was not lost. Last week, researchers announced that an insect species thought to be extinct—the Lord Howe stick insect—had been spotted on a nearby island. But it would be pointless to reintroduce the large, lobster-like Phasmatodea to Lord Howe in its current state. The rodents munch on these insects like candy, according to Alexander Mikheyev, an ecology and evolution professor at Okinawa Institute for Science and Technology. "They are about the size of a sausage and largely defenseless," he says. "It's the best rat treat you could imagine." Other species, like the wood-eating cockroach, cling to existence on Lord Howe's sheer cliffs. Mice and rats also devour bird eggs. While the invasive pests remain, introducing the Lord Howe stick insect and other native species back on the island will be impossible.