Ecology and impacts of invasive rodents on tropical islands, in relation to eradication operations: Science-based restoration

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dc.contributor.advisor Clout, M en
dc.contributor.advisor Russell, J en
dc.contributor.advisor Choquenot, D en
dc.contributor.advisor Muñoz, A en Samaniego Herrera, Araceli en 2014-08-14T03:04:19Z en 2014 en
dc.identifier.citation 2014 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Central to the growing field of ecological restoration is the removal of invasive rodents, especially from insular ecosystems. However, the success of eradication attempts in the tropics is limited, compared to temperate regions. This research was undertaken to investigate and produce information needed for successful eradication of rodents on tropical islands. It covered a range of topics, including rodent ecology, improvement of declaring eradication success, and measurement of the effects of rodent removal on invertebrates. Field work was conducted for over three years on eight islands in the Mexican tropics, six of them with rodents (Rattus rattus and Mus musculus), using eradication projects as large-scale experiments. These tropical islands range from dry to wet ecosystems. I found that: • Overall rodent densities were higher and individuals were larger on wet islands, but the pattern changed with predator presence. Rodent reproduction occurred throughout the year. • Both rodent species were omnivorous but highly opportunistic, so there were major differences between nearby island populations, even for the same species, positively related to local food availability. • Statistical modelling could be used to improve evaluation of success after rodent eradications. A spatial-survey model was developed for assessing the probability of eradication within weeks, rather than years of an operation, and predicting the required survey effort to achieve an acceptable probability of success. • Rodent impacts on terrestrial invertebrates were apparently low for some taxa. Detection of immediate changes after rodent removal was positive, but limited, possibly because large invertebrates were rare even on rodent-free islands. • Rodent impacts on land crabs (native ecosystem engineers) can be severe, as evidenced by the dramatic changes recorded after rodent removal. Also, land crab activity can drop significantly during the dry season. • Rodent eradications on tropical islands have inherent challenges which vary between dry and wet islands. However, more and larger tropical islands can be cleared of rodents if directed research informs planning and implementation. A series of management recommendations drawn from this research are listed. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Ecology and impacts of invasive rodents on tropical islands, in relation to eradication operations: Science-based restoration en
dc.type Thesis en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 449399 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2014-08-14 en

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