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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Black Rats in Mangroves: Successful and Intractable

  • Author(s): Harper, Grant;
  • Van Dinther, Martijn;
  • Bunbury, Nancy
  • et al.

Despite the black rat being the most common invasive rat on tropical islands, little is known about habitat selection and seasonal changes in density on atolls. On Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean, black rats occur in all available forest types, including mangrove forest, at high densities. Mangrove forest appears to be particularly good habitat with larger recorded body sizes, larger juveniles, and in better body condition than rats trapped in ‘terrestrial’ forest. Any plans for black rat eradication on large islands with mangrove forest will be thwarted by the presence of rats in this habitat, where poison bait is unlikely to be aerially laid successfully due to tidal inundation.

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