Sydney Bush Rat

bush rats

This project is part of a 3-year ARC linkage Grant examining whether restoration of ecological assemblages can prevent reinvasion of pests after control. It aims to examine whether reintroduction of a once common species of native rodent (bush rats) can prevent reinvasions of feral black rats into the same area after control. Our earlier research has shown that black rats and bush rats are even competitors, and dominance depends upon a residency advantage. We ultimately aim to give bush rats a residence advantage by reducing black rat numbers and reintroducing bush rats. Our previous work (e.g. Stokes et al. 2009, 2010) predicts that the native rodents should block the reinvasion of black rats thereby preventing the need for long-term black rat control. The significance of this work is threefold; firstly, it will reduce the impacts of black rats, secondly it will reduce the need for expensive black rat control, and thirdly it will reduce the need for prolonged use of poisons to reduce black rat numbers.

Recent Projects
nic and nel with a rat
  • Helen Smith (PhD USYD 2015) When commensals go wild: the ecological consequences of exotic black rats (Rattus rattus) invading beyond the urban boundary
  • Megan Callender (PhD Candidate UWS) How bush rats respond to translocation
  • Wendy Gleen (MSc USYD 2013) Life on the edge: population and behavioural responses of the native bush rat to invasive species at the urban edge
  • Wendy Kinsela (MPhil Candidate UNSW) Habitat characteristics of the bush rat Rattus fuscipes
  • Nicole Hansen (MPhil UNSW 2012) Reinvasion and the social responses of black rats to removal
  • Malith Weerakoon (MPhil UNSW 2012) Detecting rodent movement across
    an urban/bushland interface using Rhodamine B

Prof. Chris Dickman (USYD), Matt Hayward (AWC), Dan Lunney (OEH), Roger Pech, Andrea Byrom (Landcare Research NZ), Nelika Hughes (University of Antwerp)