Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) are sympatric with, and more often trapped, than the smaller Pacific rat (R. exulans) on Raoul Island, New Zealand. Rats were removed from a four-hectare grid by trapping and poisoning in the winters of 1994, 1995 and 1996. Pacific rats were trapped in increasing numbers only after Norway rats were removed. Norway rats also ate significantly more bait than Pacific rats. Competitive interference of Pacific rats by Norway rats was apparent, which casts doubt on the ability to accurately monitor individual species abundance within assemblages of rat species and to effectively manage them in control grids. Snap-trapping lines provided baseline data on the abundance of the two species before, during and after the removal grids were operated. Maximum abundances of rats were recorded in late summer and autumn following spring and summer breeding.
|Author||Grant Harper and Dick Veitch|
|Secondary title||Wildlife Research|
|Institution||NZ Department of Conservation|