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Movement Patterns of Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans) in Sugarcane

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Title:Movement Patterns of Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans) in Sugarcane
Authors:Lindsey, Gerald D.
Nass, Roger D.
Hood, Glenn A.
Hirata, David N.
LC Subject Headings:Polynesian rat
Sugarcane--Diseases and pests--Hawaii
Date Issued:Jul 1973
Publisher:University of Hawaii Press
Citation:Lindsey GD, Nass RD, Hood GA, Hirata DN. 1973. Movement patterns of Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans) in sugarcane. Pac Sci 27(3): 239-246.
Abstract:Movements of Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans) in a sugarcane field and
adjacent gulch areas were determined both by livetrapping and radiotelemetry
during various stages of the 2-year crop cycle. Both types of data showed that the
rats were relatively sedentary. The average distance traveled between successive
trap captures was 104 feet, and 65 percent of the successive captures were made
within 75 feet of each other. Eighty-six percent of the radiotelemetry bearings
located the rats within 300 feet of their burrows. Females moved less than males,
and the home ranges of both sexes decreased as sugarcane matured. Initially, all
rats lived in the gulches, although they foraged into the cane field at night. As the
cane matured, more and more rats dug cane-field burrows. These movement data
suggest that control programs to protect sugarcane from damage by rats should
concentrate on adjacent noncrop areas in the early stages of the crop cycle and
include the fields in the later stages.
Appears in Collections: Pacific Science Volume 27, Numbers 3, 1973

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