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Tracing the Global Invasion of Brown Rats

Brown rats are found throughout the world, on its continents and islands, affecting human health and biodiversity, but where did they originally come from? Researchers this month sought to answer that question when they released a global phylogeography of brown rats from cities and islands around the world.

Cats and Rats Lead Extinction Sweepstakes

As we travelled around the globe humans transported our favourite mammals with us. Either inadvertently such as rats, or intentionally such as cats. These species introductions have gone on to have unrivalled impacts.

Resetting the rules for pest control

The science of pest control includes developing and testing new tools. Today we deployed self-resetting traps on Goat Island to test their efficiency at keeping rats from perpetually reinvading the island.

The Recovery of Tromelin Island

Islands can have strange histories but few are more obscure than that of Tromelin Island of the Îles Éparses in the Western Indian Ocean.

The Curious History of Curieuse Island, Seychelles

Curieuse Island in the Seychelles is steeped in all kinds of history. Lying just a kilometre off the coast of Praslin this 286 hectare island lies in its own marine national park and is named after the French ship La Curieuse, which arrived along with the ship La Digue

Wedge-Tailed Shearwaters Recolonise Ste Anne Island

Sainte Anne is a 219 hectare island lying just off four kilometres from the coast of Mahé, Seychelles. It is the largest island of the Ste Anne Marine National Park and was originally discovered on Saint Anne’s Day in 1742. It was subsequently the first of the Seychelles islands to be settled by the French before they took up residency on Mahé.

To Catch a Rat on Norfolk Island

Norfolk Island is an external territory of Australia, currently governed by its own general assembly. Norfolk Island is the last island around New Zealand from which we need a genetic sample of the invasive rats to complete our phylogeographic map of invasive rats around New Zealand and neighbouring islands.

Biosecurity Protects Islands

Without island biosecurity pests will rapidly recolonize islands from which they have been eradicated, or worse still colonise islands for the first time. Only with a rigorous audited biosecurity programme can pest-free status be maintained.

Eradication of Rats from Banco Chinchorro Confirmed

Colleagues from Mexico have just announced the successful eradication of introduced mammals from the massive Banco Chinchorro reef complex off the Yucatan peninsula. Mexico has aggressively tackled the problem of invasive species eradication on islands over the past decade.

Tropical Island Conservation: Rat Eradication for Species Recovery

Having just returned from Fernando de Noronha the plight of tropical islands under attack from invasive species is still at the forefront of my thoughts. Can the techniques we have developed in temperate latitudes on uninhabited islands be applied so readily to inhabited tropical islands?

Cat and Mouse vs. Bird on a Tropical Island

The bird species that have lived on Fernando de Noronha for millions of years have new predators to battle: introduced cats, rats, and a three-foot Brazilian lizard. Can they survive?

Island’s Invasive Species Wreak Havoc: How Did They Get Here?

Invasive cats, rats, and lizards are wreaking havoc on the native species of Fernando de Noronha. How did they all get here?

A Day in the Life of a Researcher in Search of Rats

The last twenty-four hours on Fernando de Noronha have been non-stop, non-sleep, and action filled, and not just because it’s been Carnival in Brazil.

November 16, 2014: Speed Climb 3,000 Foot Walls, Meet the Darwin of NYC’s Rodent World and More

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson and his guests as they set a speed record on El Capitan, prosecute poaching kingpins, share survival tips for extreme weather, dig up clues on ancient tsunamis to study for future risk, hold our breath to survive a surfing disaster, call the Malagasy military for an airlift, understand the evolution of New York’s rats, and mourn the Sherpa guides and porters lost on Everest.

Watch: Surfing Goat and 5 Other Animals That Catch Waves

A surfing goat has inspired its own YouTube channel and children’s book, but it’s not the only pet that’s been trained to catch waves.