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Title: A vertical bait station for black rats ('Rattus rattus') that reduces bait take by a sympatric native rodent
Contributor(s): Zewe, Frances (author); Meek, Paul  (author); Ford, Hugh A  (author); Vernes, Karl A  (author)orcid 
Publication Date: 2014
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1071/AM13010Open Access Link
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Abstract: Novel bait stations can be used as a targeted method of delivering bait by exploiting behavioural traits of the target species. On Muttonbird Island, New South Wales, the black rat ('Rattus rattus') has been baited to aid the conservation of the island's wedge-tailed shearwater ('Ardenna pacifica') colony, which may result in poisoning of the sympatric swamp rat ('Rattus lutreolus'). We aimed to design a bait station that 'R. rattus' could reach, but that 'R. lutreolus' could not. We found that 11 (92%) of 12 captive 'R. rattus' reached the bait chambers by climbing a 50-cm vertical pipe, whereas only four (18%) of 22 'R. lutreolus' reached these bait stations. In a field trial on Muttonbird Island 'R. rattus' entered the bait chamber on an average of 5.3 events per night of vertical bait station deployment, but 'R. lutreolus' did not enter the stations. In a field trial on the mainland at a site with a high density of 'R. lutreolus', this species was detected in one vertical bait station five times, equating to an average of 0.017 events per night of vertical bait station deployment. We conclude that 'R. rattus' readily climbs a 50-cm pipe to enter the bait station, whereas 'R. lutreolus' rarely or never does on Muttonbird Island or at the mainland site.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Mammology, 36(1), p. 67-73
Publisher: CSIRO Publishing
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1836-7402
Field of Research (FOR): 050103 Invasive Species Ecology
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 960499 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species not elsewhere classified
960899 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity of Environments not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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