Laboratory and field evaluation of predator odors as repellents for kiore (Rattus exulans) and ship rats (R. rattus)

Citation
Gn. Bramley et Jr. Waas, Laboratory and field evaluation of predator odors as repellents for kiore (Rattus exulans) and ship rats (R. rattus), J CHEM ECOL, 27(5), 2001, pp. 1029-1047
Citations number
46
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Environment/Ecology
Journal title
JOURNAL OF CHEMICAL ECOLOGY
ISSN journal
0098-0331 → ACNP
Volume
27
Issue
5
Year of publication
2001
Pages
1029 - 1047
Database
ISI
SICI code
0098-0331(200105)27:5<1029:LAFEOP>2.0.ZU;2-Y
Abstract
Predator odors may serve to stop rats from entering conservation areas or t o decrease predation, food consumption, and other damage by rats in areas t ainted with predator odor. We compared the efficacy of real predator odors and synthetic odors (derived from the urine and feces of carnivores) as rat repellents with real herbivore odors as controls in a Y maze. We tested si x predator odors: cat (Felis catus) urine and feces, mongoose (Herpestes au ropunctatus) feces, n-propylthietane, S-methyl, methyl butanol, and isopent yl-methyl sulphide. The herbivore odors we used were: red deer (Cervus elap hus) urine, guinea pig (Cavia porcellus) feces, and white rabbit (Oryctolag us cuniculus) urine. Ship rats (Rattus rattus) and kiore or Polynesian rats (R. exulans) showed no aversion to any of the six predator odors when comp ared with herbivore odors. Ship rats, however, may have avoided synthesized odors more than real ones. We applied two odors (S-methyl, methyl butanol and n-propylthietane) to purpose-built feeders in native forest but recorde d no change in either visitation rate or duration of visits for rodents [ra ts and mice (Mus musculus)] or possums (Trichosurus vulpecula). The consump tion of maize at feeders was correlated with the number and duration of pos sum visits, but only weakly correlated with the number of visits by rodents . Consumption of maize was unaffected by the odor associated with the feede r. It is unlikely that the odors we tested will be useful in deterring rode nts or possums from areas where they have been removed for economic, public health or conservation reasons.