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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Rats! Foiled Again: A History of Rodent Control Methods Development at the National Wildlife Research Center


The National Wildlife Research Center (NWRC) and its predecessor laboratories have a long history of developing materials and methods for managing rodents and the damage they cause. The NWRC has been influential in exploring, developing, and maintaining legal uses of many traditional field rodenticides such as strychnine and zinc phosphide. Products have been developed for managing rodents in a variety of locales, and for managing a variety of species, from commensal rodents in urban areas, to pocket gophers and mountain beaver in forests, prairie dogs and ground squirrels on rangelands, and nutria and beaver in wetlands. Considerable research has also been conducted on developing methods of managing rodents in underdeveloped countries. Recent efforts by NWRC have focused on development of tools for managing invasive rodents in conservation areas such as island ecosystems and development of alternative, nonlethal control methods.

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