Forget better mouse traps: save the forest

Apr 13, 2006

Wildlife Conservation Society scientists in New York say the most cost-effective way to control rats on the Fiji Islands is to protect standing forests.

Rats and mongooses are decimating highly endangered species on Fiji's larger tropical islands. The Bronx Zoo's WCS experts say the best way to control the predators is not by intensive trapping but by preserving forest blocks where wildlife live.

The scientists found rats and mongooses rarely penetrated into the forest interior, preferring instead to forage along the forests' edges.

The finding is potentially good news for species such as the pink-billed parrotfinch, banded iguana and Fijian land snail, all of which live deep within Fiji's remaining forests.

By using bait stations designed to attract rats and mongooses, the researchers discovered stations located more than approximately 3 miles from the forest edge were rarely visited.

"Protection of the few remaining large blocks of natural forests on Pacific islands may be the most cost-effective approach for conserving many rare species threatened by rats and mongooses," said WCS researcher David Olson, lead author of the study.

The research appears in the latest issue of the journal Conservation Biology.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Why NASA studies the ultraviolet sun

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Predators battle bugs, become pests themselves

Jul 21, 2009

(AP) -- Imported insects have been deployed as foot soldiers in the fight against invasive bugs and plants that cause billions of dollars in damage each year. But some of those imports are proving to be pests themselves ...

Recommended for you

Why NASA studies the ultraviolet sun

18 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —You cannot look at the sun without special filters, and the naked eye cannot perceive certain wavelengths of sunlight. Solar physicists must consequently rely on spacecraft that can observe ...

Two dynamos drive Jupiter's magnetic field

58 minutes ago

(Phys.org) —Superlatives are the trademark of the planet Jupiter. The magnetic field at the top edge of the cloud surrounding the largest member of the solar system is around ten times stronger than Earth's, ...

GPIM spacecraft to validate use of "green" propellant

1 hour ago

(Phys.org) —Milestone progress is being made in readying NASA's Green Propellant Infusion Mission (GPIM) for launch in 2016, a smallsat designed to test the unique attributes of a high-performance, non-toxic, ...

Swirling electrons in the whirlpool galaxy

18 hours ago

The whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51) is seen from a distance of approximately 30 million light years. This galaxy appears almost face-on and displays a beautiful system of spiral arms.

User comments : 0