Invasive species are a major threat for island biodiversity, causing species decline and extinction globally. Of all invasive mammals rats are one of the most detrimental and have been the target of numerous control and eradication programmes. In Mauritius rats have contributed to the extinction of 50% of the island's fauna and are thought to be the main threat to the endemic Mauritius olive white-eye (Zosterops chloronothos), a critically endangered passerine. Assessing the impact of rats and suitable control strategies is often problematic in such cases because of the lack of replicate populations for experiments. Here, we illustrate how to overcome this issue by combining a small-scale rat management experiment on olive white-eyes with demographic models that provide estimates of the potential effects of management on vital rates and population growth. We established poison and trapping grids within breeding territories, and show that rat management significantly decreased rat abundance and increased nesting success. An individual-based stochastic simulation model suggested that rat control could produce a 5–6 fold increase in the annual productivity of female olive white-eyes, which in turn would be sufficient to stabilise population growth. In the absence of rat management, our analysis suggests the olive white-eye population will decline by about 14% per annum. By combining low cost field experiments with widely available demographic models we highlight the value of targeted, effective rat management techniques for both short and long-term population management in threatened passerines.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2015
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera