Wildlife Services efforts to eradicate the invasive Gambian giant pouched rat from Grassy Key, Florida, have been ongoing since 2006. In a new publication, NWRC’s Dr. Gary Witmer discusses the strategy used and some of the pitfalls encountered during the eradication effort.
ACCESS IS KEY
Public cooperation and land access are crucial to invasive species eradication efforts. While most landowners on Grassy Key allowed for trapping and baiting on their properties, six landowners with properties totaling about 2 hectares did not. In “mop-up” activities, WS personnel noted the last remaining rats were associated with these properties. This resulted in labor-intensive and costly perimeter trapping. Witmer notes that increased public education early on may help build grassroots support for other eradication efforts in the future.