Is a native rodent competitively dominant over an invasive rodent in lowland agro-forest habitat of the Philippines?
Stuart, A. M., Prescott, C. and Singleton, G. R. (2011) Is a native rodent competitively dominant over an invasive rodent in lowland agro-forest habitat of the Philippines? In: 8th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference, 26-30 September 2011, pp. 167-168. (In Press) (Proceedings of the 8th European Vertebrate Pest Management Conference)
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In the lowland agro-forest of the Sierra Madre Biodiversity Corridor (SMBC), it is considered that a native rodent species, Rattus everetti is competitively dominant over an invasive pest species, Rattus tanezumi. The main aim of this study was to assess the response of R. tanezumi following short term removal of R. everetti. We tested this experimentally by trapping and removing R. everetti from two treatment sites in agro-forest habitat on three occasions over three consecutive months. This was followed by three months of non-removal trapping. Two non-treatment sites were trapped for comparison. Following R. everetti removal, R. everetti individuals rapidly immigrated into the treatment sites and a significantly higher proportion of R. tanezumi females were in breeding condition in the treatment sites than in the non-treatment sites. The results from this study provide evidence of competition between native and invasive rodent species in complex agro-ecosystems. We were also able to demonstrate that R. everetti populations are able to recover rapidly from the non-target effects of short-term lethal control in and around agro-forest.