Successful eradication of invasive rodents from a small island through pulsed baiting inside covered stations

  • Orueta J
  • Aranda Y
  • Gómez T
 et al. 
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Abstract

Abstract  We show the results of an eradication campaign against Rattus rattus developed in Rey Francisco Island (12 ha), Chafarinas islands, southwestern Mediterranean. Rat population size was estimated by snap trapping in up to 93.47 ind./ha and a trapping index of 9.58 captures/100 traps-night. We think that population was underestimated because of the number of traps found strung but without capture. Several products were tested in order to define the method of eradication. In 1992, we selected a second generation anticoagulant, pelleted brodifacoum 50 ppm into 5 l plastic containers as baiting stations. Bait consumption reached zero after three pulses, and intensive searching of tracks and signals were unsuccessful. After more than two years of absence of signals and sightings, in 1995, rat scats were observed in Rey Francisco, and the population rose dizzily. After several snap-trapping sessions in 1996, 1997 and 1999, when trapping success reached 37 captures/100 trap-nights, a new campaign started in autumn–winter 1999–2000 using flocoumafen 50 ppm inside 180 baiting stations. Eradication occurred with a very low risk for non-target fauna, setting less than 1 kg/ha of bait each time. Monitoring, both with snap traps and baiting at a lower intensity assures the absence of reinvasion.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Mediterranean
  • Rattus rattus
  • anticoagulants
  • covered baiting stations
  • pulsed baiting
  • small islands

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Authors

  • Jorge F. Orueta

  • Yolanda Aranda

  • Tomás Gómez

  • Gerardo G. Tapia

  • Lino Sanchez-Mármol

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