Movement Patterns of Polynesian Rats (Rattus exulans) in Sugarcane

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1973-07
Authors
Lindsey, Gerald D.
Nass, Roger D.
Hood, Glenn A.
Hirata, David N.
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University of Hawaii Press
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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.
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Lindsey GD, Nass RD, Hood GA, Hirata DN. 1973. Movement patterns of Polynesian rats (Rattus exulans) in sugarcane. Pac Sci 27(3): 239-246.
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