Co-swand-09-12-e1373249982614A mouse plague has caused so much damage to grasslands in the northern Netherlands that the barren pasture is visible from space. The mice population in the province of Friesland has “exploded” following last year’s hot, dry summer and mild winter, with rodents tunneling under pasture and eating grass roots. Satellite images show damage to more than 12,000 hectares (29,652 acres) of fields, Wageningen University’s research institute Alterra wrote in a report in its website. Friesland accounts for about 19 percent of Dutch pasture and is home to 18 percent of the Netherlands’ dairy cattle, according to data from statistics office CBS. The mice are killing the grass, leaving pasture dead and brown, Alterra said. “Mouse damage has increased explosively in large parts of southern Friesland,” Alterra wrote. It’s possible the mice population covers larger areas, but that the grass damage is “not yet sufficient that it can be mapped with satellite imagery.” More