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Invasive Rodent Ecology, Impacts, and Management with an Emphasis on the United States

  • Author(s): Witmer, Gary W.
  • Pitt, William C.
  • Howald, Gregg
  • et al.
Abstract

Many invasive rodent species have become established in the United States and its territories, both on the mainland and on islands. While most were introduced accidently, some were introduced for food or fur. These rodents have caused serious impacts to native flora and fauna, agriculture, and other resources. They have caused the extinction of many species of birds in insular ecosystems. Although many methods are used to control or eradicate introduced rodents, rodenticides and traps are the main tools. Since the early 1990s, agencies have been eradicating rodents from various islands, primarily for conservation purposes. There have been numerous eradication attempts in the United States and most have been successful. We review introduced rodent impacts and eradications, both successful and unsuccessful, which have occurred, with an emphasis on the United States. Finally, we consider some research needs and some remaining challenges in invasive rodent management and eradication in the United States, including the use of toxicants, land access, public attitudes, resource availability, and monitoring difficulties.

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