Invasive Rodent Research Priorities in New Zealand

New Zealand has no native rodents but 4 introduced species, Rattus norvegicus, R. rattus, R. exulans and Mus musculus. R. exulans (kiore) was introduced by the original Maori settlers whereas the others were brought by European migrants in the 19th century. Rodent problems in urban areas and in crops are largely of nuisance value, but the suite of introduced rodents is a major threat to New Zealand’s indigenous biota. They prey on native birds and invertebrates, impact on forest processes through seed predation, and are primary prey for introduced carnivores, such as stoats, ferrets and feral cats, that also are significant predators of native animals.

A recent meeting of researchers and management agencies identified priorities for research on biology and control of rodents in New Zealand, including eradication of rodents from offshore islands. Priorities for research on the ecological role of rodents and their impacts, and rodent control strategies and tactics will be presented, and the concept of a rodent pest network discussed.

Author Cowan, P.
Date 2004-10-19
Year 2004
Secondary title 2nd National Invasive Rodent Summit
Place published Fort Collins
Publisher National Wildlife Research Centre
Pages 5-6
Region NZ