Rattus rattus

Seabirds are notoriously sensitive to introduced mammalian predators and eradication programs have benefitted seabird populations and their habitats on numerous islands throughout the world. However, less evidence is available from the tropics as to the benefits of rat eradication. Here, we report the seabird recovery and vegetation dynamics on a small coralline island of the tropical western Indian Ocean, eight years after Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) eradication.

Rat eradication has become a common conservation intervention in island ecosystems and its effectiveness in protecting native vertebrates is increasingly well documented. Yet, the impacts of rat eradication on plant communities remain poorly understood. Here we compare native and non-native tree and palm seedling abundance before and after eradication of invasive rats (Rattus Rattus) from Palmyra Atoll, Line Islands, Central Pacific Ocean. Overall, seedling recruitment increased for five of the six native trees species examined.

The introduction of invasive rats, goats, and rhesus macaques to Desecheo National Wildlife Refuge, Puerto Rico led to the extirpation of regionally signifi cant seabird colonies and negatively impacted plant and endemic reptile species. In 2012, following the successful removal of goats and macaques from Desecheo, an attempt to remove black rats using aerially broadcast rodenticide and bait stations was unsuccessful.

Rat eradication techniques developed in New Zealand are a proven method for removing invasive rodents from islands worldwide. This technology moved rapidly from ground-based bait station operations to aerial application of rodenticides. Rat eradications on tropical islands using similar methods, have not always been as successful as those in temperate regions. As most previous eradications in the Caribbean have been on islands smaller than 50 ha, the eradication of black rats (Rattus rattus) from 207 ha Dog Island was a significant increase in size.

Rodent predation on eggs and chicks is one of the main threats to procellariiform species in the Mediterranean, where the black rat (Rattus rattus) and brown rat (R. norvegicus) have been present on many islands for centuries. The yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) is an endemic Mediterranean seabird species classified as vulnerable. Malta holds up to 10% of the global population; the largest colony, Rdum tal-Madonna (RM), protected as a Natura 2000 site, hosts around 500 breeding pairs. This colony has been monitored since its discovery in 1969.

Following the incursion of rats (Rattus rattus) on Taukihepa (Big South Cape Island; 93.9 km²) off southern New Zealand in 1963, and the subsequent extirpation of several endemic species, the New Zealand Wildlife Service realised that, contrary to general belief at the time, introduced predators do not reach a natural balance with native species and that a safe breeding habitat for an increasing number of ‘at risk’ species was urgently needed.

Ship rats (rattus rattus) is the only species of rat not found on Atiu.

In November 2007 and November 2008, we conducted a bird and mammal survey on Wallis and Futuna. We found two non-native bird species on Wallis: the Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and the Chestnut-breasted Munia (Lonchura castaneothorax), and one on Futuna: the Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus). We also recorded Black Rats (Rattus rattus) on Futuna, a recent introduction to this island. The introduction of 3 bird species and Black Rats in the last decade denotes a lack of preventive measures and demonstrates that the issue of invasive species has not received sufficient priority

In November 2007 and November 2008, we conducted a bird and mammal survey on Wallis and Futuna. We found two non-native bird species on Wallis: the Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) and the Chestnut-breasted Munia (Lonchura castaneothorax), and one on Futuna: the Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus). We also recorded Black Rats (Rattus rattus) on Futuna, a recent introduction to this island. The introduction of 3 bird species and Black Rats in the last decade denotes a lack of preventive measures and demonstrates that the issue of invasive species has not received sufficient priority.