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Feasibility of a Successful Rat Eradication on Wake Atoll Following Initial Partial Failure: Potential Causes, Remedial Actions, and Remaining Knowledge Gaps

  • Author(s): Hanson, Chad
  • Rex, Kristen
  • Kappes, Peter J.
  • Siers, Shane R.
  • et al.
Abstract

A 2012 attempt to remove two rat species (Rattus tanezumi and R. exulans) from Wake Atoll was partially successful. R. tanezumi was eradicated from all three islands (Wake, Wilkes, and Peale), and R. exulans was eradicated from Peale. However, R. exulans remained on Wake and Wilkes and have since recovered to very high densities. In 2013, a panel of experts reviewed the eradication operation and offered a list of possible causes of the partial failure. Since that time, further research has been conducted to address several of the issues identified in the review. In this paper, we conduct a current review of the remedial studies, identify remaining knowledge gaps, and make recommendations for ensuring the feasibility of a future operation to remove R. exulans from Wake and Wilkes Islands.

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