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David G. Decker

Roof rats (Rattus rattus) cause substantial damage to sugarcane in South Florida (Samol 1972; Lefebvre et al. 1978, 1985). Accurate estimates of roof rat populations in sugarcane fields would be useful for determining when to to treat a field to control roof rats and for assessing the efficacy of control. However, previous studies have indicated that roof rats exhibit trap shyness, which makes capture-recapture population estimates difficult (Lefebvre et al. 1978, 1985; Holler et al., 1981). Until trapping methods are sufficiently improved to allow accurate population estimates, indices of population size that relate to damage need to be developed. The objectives of our study were to examine the relationship of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Wildlife Society Bulletin
Alternative deterministic simulation models were compared to test the management consequences of present uncertainty about the degree of density dependence involved in cotton rat population cycles in southern Florida sugarcane fields. Efficacy of rodenticide applied in different months was explored under six different scenarios of density dependence and independence in two population parameters: fecundity and juvenile survival. Output from the six models differed considerably in the number of rats produced, but was remarkably consistent in the most effective months to apply rodenticide. Since models without density-dependent fecundity were inherently unstable and an inverse relationship between fecundity and population...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecological Modelling
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