Rat trap in Royal Botanic Gardens

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tomboy
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Rat trap in Royal Botanic Gardens

Other day i went to sydney botanic garden and found a rat trap (trapezoid-prism like black box with one hole on each side) in the bush area

If im not mistaken, i am pretty sure that is used to kill rat living/running around the area and I  just dont understand the such use....

these box obviously cost money and they are using money to kill off something that can otherwise be a "valuable natural resource". wasting money and resources

There are carnivorous birds such as kookaburras, magpie, crows who would hunt them down for a meal and considering so much natural habitat/food already taken and still being destroyed, its a shock they are doing these even in the park where it is considered the most "close to nature" anyone can ask for in the city (if not on earth, which eventually will be in near future)...

Its just getting more and more tough for wild life to live

zosterops
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I'm pretty confident this measure poses no real threat to rodent populations, they breed like rats. 

i'd prefer they utilised these measures in fact, poisoning techniques run the risk of harming scavengers. 

soakes
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Does this device actually kill the rat, or just catch it?  If the former, then it is also killing native rats and small animals.

soakes
Victoria, Australia

tomboy
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Im pretty sure it is not a catch because i saw a hole at the back of the box that is through and through. highly likely a bait with poison..

it looked like this.... http://pestcontrolsupplies.com/new/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ProtectaLP.jpg ...which is rodent bait station

whats the guarantee that only rat will take the bait and what happens when other living thing takes bite out of poisoned rat (still alive or dead) ?

have they thought about the other wild life and the possibility of such action destabilizing the balance of biodiversity ?

Woko
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If the device's purpose is to eradicate feral rats without killing native marsupials or other native species I'm all for it. If it is affecting native marsupials then it clearly needs modification. Tomboy, have you contacted Parks & Wildlife or whatever it is in NSW & asked for information about the trap?

tomboy
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i dont support the ones that are outside... especially in parks. they are way over doing it.

maybe if they have maintained the area clean of any waste in the first place none of this may be required.

i sent them a message but whether they will take action or not is in their hands. i can only suggest

Reflex
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tomboy wrote:

whats the guarantee that only rat will take the bait and what happens when other living thing takes bite out of poisoned rat (still alive or dead) ?

have they thought about the other wild life and the possibility of such action destabilizing the balance of biodiversity ?

 I've often wondered about this so had a bit of a dig around.

The answer to your second question is, yes they they thought about the other wild life and the answer to your first question can be found here,:

"When an animal directly eats the rodent bait it is a primary poisoning. This would occur when an animal eats rodenticide that is not in a tamper-resistant bait station or in an accessible area. Primary poisoning is the most general way that pets and non-targeted animals get poisoned from rodent baits

Secondary poisoning occurs when an animal eats the flesh of a rat or mouse after they consumed the rodent bait. This occurs in anticoagulant rodent baits such asbrodifacoumbromadiolone, difethialone and diphacinone. Digested anticoagulants can reside in the livers of mice and rats after consuming the rodent bait. When an animal eats the entire carcass of poisoned rodents, they can ingest the anticoagulants. Another way the animal can consume the bait is to eat undigested bait that is in the mouth or gut of the rodent. This is not as much secondary as a primary way of ingesting the poison.

For secondary poisoning to occur, depends on a lot of factors. These factors include the amount of toxicant, the animal's general health and sensitivity and the timing of the bait ingested by the rodent. Some anticoagulants are single feeding baits, and some are multiple feeding bait. Multiple feeding baits require several feedings over a while for a lethal dose. Single feed baits are stronger. Since rats eat more bait than mice, secondary poisoning more frequently occurs with rat carcasses. Rats can eat up to 30 grams of rodent bait a day while mice only consumes up to 4 grams of bait.

Secondary Poisoning is Rare

Although secondary poisoning is possible, it is unlikely to occur. Anticoagulant baits are manufactured with low dosages of active ingredients that range from 25 parts to 50 parts per million. A 20 lb dog would need to consume a range from 1.6 to 96 ounces of baits such as Contrac (bromadiolone) or Final(brodifacoum) to get poisoned in both primary or secondary poisonings".

It is also worth mentioning that modern single feeding baits baits (again it is dependant on the amount consumed) would make a child or dog vomit initially whereas the targeted species, rats and mice cannot vomit. 

Samford Valley Qld.

Reflex
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tomboy wrote:

maybe if they have maintained the area clean of any waste in the first place none of this may be required.

 That's not true.Rats on your property doesn’t necessarily mean your place is dirty. Rats are attracted to anywhere there is food, water and shelter. Only small holes are required for a rat to squeeze through.

Samford Valley Qld.

zosterops
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rats are absolutely everywhere

also some species are completely dependent of introduced rodents as prey now (eg most Black-shouldered Kites)

timrp
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There are no recorded native rodents or native small mammals at the botanic gardens but there is a resident Powerful Owl and a family of Tawny Frogmouths that could possibly eat a poisoned rat or mouse or feed one to their chicks. I dont think they should risk the death of the owls or frogmouths. Would baby frogmouths be more likely to be poisoned than adult birds?

zosterops
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quite sad that native rodents are apparently completely locally extinct there

i think i saw a thread here where a boobook died after ingesting poisoned mice.

Reflex
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timrp wrote:

 I dont think they should risk the death of the owls or frogmouths. Would baby frogmouths be more likely to be poisoned than adult birds?

I'm only reading from what I can find on the internet but as I understand it, it shouldn't as long as they use the multiple feeding baits not the single feed baits but if they do nothing about the rats it will be worse for our native animals. I agree with removing any risk to our wildlife but it's not enough to say they shouldn't use the baits unless you have a better alternative.

Any young/baby animal is more susceptible than a mature bird.

There's an interesting read here about the plan to eradicate Rats from Lord Howe Island and the possible effects of doing nothing. 

http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/pestsweeds/draftLHIrodentplan.pdf

Rats are implicated in the extinction of five birds on LHI. Rodents also pose an ongoing threat to at least 13 other bird species. Two seabirds – white-bellied storm-petrel (Fregetta grallaria) and Kermadec petrel (Pterodroma neglecta) – that once bred on the main island are now restricted to breeding on smaller, rat-free islands within the LHI Group (although man had a lot more to do with the Petrels decision to give LHI a wide berth than the rats). They were last recorded breeding on the main island in 1913-1915, just prior to the introduction of rats.

As I understand it NSW has now announced funding for this plan..fingers crossed it actually goes ahead.They have already done it with the wild pigs and goats.

Samford Valley Qld.

zosterops
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i think islands have suffered disproportionately from the effects of introduced rats as mainland species often coevolved with native rodents and similar mammals (now often locally extinct). 

introduced rats have filled the dispersal niche formerly held by natives, saving some fungi species.

sometimes the introduced rats are blamed on eliminating native rodents and similar mammals, most natives require reasonably intact native habitat. often humans destroyed the habitat so the introduced rodents moved in as the natives moved out. 

jason

Maybe the Botantical Gardens are just a great place to live for rodent. Far more going on there than a city street or suburban back yard.  

The Wilderness Society once had images of dead Raptors apparently victim to secondary effects of biting.  Gunns would drop 1080 laced carrots dropped from choppers amongst the new plantation plantings.  Wombats would eat the baits instead of the seedlings.  Rapters then consumed the wombat, and fell vistim to 1080.  

The images made sense, but Reflex's homework suggest not. I guess you do what you can for public support and donations.

I think rats are fine, but when they have nested in your camping gear, or in your roof, because of the neighbours chooks then that is different. I find I too then turn to baits as much as I hate the way they kill the animal.  Have tried live catch and relase traps over the yeras and only had success once on a very cute little mouse.  Tiny little fella went back to the big smoke of the local bush.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

tomboy
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only thing i can think of that could have attracted these rats maybe smell of food from cafe/restaurant right in the middle of the park.

i saw few rat bait box in the city too, near eatery.

Im not sure about other animal but i saw a Kookaburra few years ago at land cove park flying over a rat that was running across the open field and catching it with its beak then flew off with it

zosterops
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i believe raptors generally have a high tolerance of 1080, so perhaps another substance was responsible for their demise, jason. 

rats will also utilise more natural food resources such as berries, should be ample supplies in the botanic gardens. 

tomboy
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Email enquiry sent and Response received.....

ENQUIRY:

Just few days ago I saw a few black boxes in a bush of Sydney royal botanic garden and was wondering what it is about ?
 I believe its for rat around the area but I am concerned about its impact on other wild life such as carnivorous animals/birds that hunt such species as a part of their diet. there is a possibility that killing these rat is equivalent to destroying a food source for other animals and also may poison them from hunting a rat that ate these poisonous bait (rat alive or dead).
 And how can one be so certain that only rat will take these bait not other rat-like wild life ?

RESPONSE:

Yes, these are rat poison stations. The risk to non-target species is very low. The rats are required to eat a sub-lethal dose of poison on two to three occasions. This means that they have a small amount of poison within their system, which is in the process of being digested (or has been digested), if they are preyed upon. This equates to a very small exposure, if any, to a predator. Importantly, the predators are larger (weigh more) than the prey, which means that a much larger dose of poison is required to negatively impact them and this is extremely unlikely.

Reflex
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Good to see they responded Tomboy and thanks for putting it up on here.

Samford Valley Qld.

tomboy
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More response from futher questioning

QUESTION

Just wondering is it necessary to use these in a park given these are already being used outside in the city area ?
 
considering these boxes cost money and there will be natural predators who would hunt these rats anyway, in my point of view, it seems a waste of money/resources to get rid of another that may be a valuable to other.
 

RESPONSE

The introduced Black rat occurs within and outside the Botanic Garden. We can’t rely on external controls to manage this species within the Garden. Rats are an issue within the Garden as they eat plants and seeds and are a health issue around eateries.

The level of rat predation is unquantified but is likely to be insufficient to control the population. The Black rat is well known for its ability to establish and maintain populations, and colonise new areas.

zosterops
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so basically they admit it's probably not really doing anything to reduce the rat population but 'we'll look like we're doing something', which was my initial suspicion. 

Reflex
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zosterops wrote:

so basically they admit it's probably not really doing anything to reduce the rat population but 'we'll look like we're doing something', which was my initial suspicion. 

 What would you suggest they do?

Samford Valley Qld.

tomboy
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After doing some reading, there are pros/cons with these rats but i see more costs then benefits

one thing, rats are good carrier of disease & viruses in their system  that can affect both human and other animals and these sick ones can conteminate their surrounding area including water. Also while they may be a resource/food for certain species, if they eat/damage other resources (plants and seeds other wildlife eats which can raise competition for survival) then the benefits of having them around is definitely not free (depending on how much they eat/damage, cons may outweight pros)

Also i read that they are very agile and fast climbers so using natural predatory to control its population is difficult also taking into account they can reproduce rapidly and their diet is very flexible unlike typical wildlife species which makes them more easily adoptable to many different kinds of environment. It also says because they are a good generalist with wide dietary niche, it can cause some native species declines or goes extinct in area where they populate.

i guess it comes down to the "method" of controlling/eliminating these rats.....

zosterops
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Reflex wrote:
zosterops wrote:

so basically they admit it's probably not really doing anything to reduce the rat population but 'we'll look like we're doing something', which was my initial suspicion. 

 What would you suggest they do?

not sure?

are these rats impacting native species beyond what the original rodents of the region would have?

would removing them* lead to a collapse in predators dependent upon them?

*probably not possible within existing parameters anyway

tomboy
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zosterops
zosterops's picture

i wonder how the bush rat is ostensibly going to 'outcompete the black rat' when 'it does not climb trees or raid bird's nests', which is precisely the black rat's forte, it seems they have a different niche entirely (!). 

i'm not so sure 'habitat restoration' is going to reduce the black rat seeing as it feeds on many native fruits. also on many islands black rats were introduced accidentally by visiting ships and were still abundant decades later in the island environments existing without any further human assistance.  

'It's a native mammal that will remain in the bush and keep the Black Rat population at bay'

how will it control the black rat if the black rat is commonest in urban areas where the bush rat cannot survive?

i also thought the 'Black Rats are thought to eat the eggs of birds of prey which may play an important role in keeping Indian Myna populations in check'

was a curious spin on things given the black rat is probably a major (or the major) predator of introduced birds and their eggs/nestlings, as well as being a major prey source for the birds of prey.  

Also an unusual position propounded that birds of prey would otherwise control common mynas, healthy populations of prey species are well-adapted to survive predation. predators do not generally eliminate their food supplies of they too would perish. 

Reflex
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I'm all for the reinstating of any native species but if the boguls are going to stay in the bush as suggested I don't understand how they will reduce suburban pest black rat populations.  I can't help but think this hasn't been thought through properly or maybe I have missed something.

Samford Valley Qld.

tomboy
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A pest whether that may be a black rat or Indian myna, in the eyes of wildlife animals, we human may just be the biggest,  most destructive, large scale consuming,  waste producing, reproducing in the world

Reflex
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tomboy wrote:

A pest whether that may be a black rat or Indian myna, in the eyes of wildlife animals, we human may just be the biggest,  most destructive, large scale consuming,  waste producing, reproducing in the world

 Agreed but not sure why you put "may" in that sentence. What makes us different from other species, however, is our ability to recognise these global problems and our inventiveness in doing something about them.

Samford Valley Qld.

Woko
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Humans certainly have the capacity for inventiveness. Whether they have the motivation has been under a severe spotlight in recent years. There are pockets of inventiveness but so far the answer is, overall, no way. Testament to this is that the vast majority of people allow our leaders to get away with massive environmental destruction, in spite of the fact that we depend on a healthy environment for our long term survival. As a species we seem to be rather suicidal I'd have to say.

tomboy
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Its an irony that it started as their intention to survive that lead to suicidal. ..

Globally one thing but also reflects each individual choice/action. ... greed, short sighted,  delusional beliefs, excess/insatiable etc. .

Woko
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Tomboy, can you expand on the first sentence in you last post?

tomboy
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Did you read the second sentence ? It's there

soakes
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Yeah... it's still a little confusing.  I think I get what you're saying.

soakes
Victoria, Australia

tomboy
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How about. ...Its an irony that it started as their intention to survive that lead to such destruction that in turn threaten what they are trying so hard to protect

This not just refers to environmental impact but also human living standard,  quality of life (no natural environment related) etc... from the same factor I have stated above

jason

Or ....in my simple head: Humans cut down the forests to makes houses, furnature, cook and so on, then try and save the forests after they have done so.

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

Woko
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Gotcha.

There are certainly a lot of contradictions in the way we behave. I'm reminded of the massive increse in salinity in the Murray-Darling Basin which is being exploited by a salt harvester. No doubt he/she will be lobbying the government vigorously should anyone suggest that native vegetation be used to reduce salinity.

tomboy
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Human "living" itself degrades environment because we use/take resources,  physical space and produce waste.  And this is true even for those who are living very basic/simple lives (just taking what they need to survive) .... the difference between others are level of consumption of resources and waste production. 

World are big place and has lot of resources and space but this isn't true under a very large population and  ppl's insatiable greed

Living and nature is a conflict of interest so must find a way to balance and co-exist together through consideration of other living things and some level of sacrifice ( less consumption of resources, less wastage, less about oneself point of views or needs/wants but other living things too....etc..)

tomboy
tomboy's picture

I think it depends on the method of removal that matters most. Removing salt that way maybe more quicker then using plants.  Planting more plants is great but if this is something that needs to be done under short period of time,  I think human involvement would be best. ... look at the farming or building construction. ..using current technology they are good at changing things very fast in large scale. ..

But in long run,  if they wish to avoid this problem in the future,  they should plant plants and also find the source of the problem and mitigate its activities if complete stop is impossible. 

If both party consider other living things and not too focus on filing their own pockets,  for example the government can use the money they received to plant more plants and the business consider the environment friendly way of removing and just the right amount to restore the balance, everything will be great

jason

Yes agrre somewhat with your words tomboy.  I find there are just not enough genuine interested people regarding nature, or if they are thay are not in the right position. Maybe I'm inthe wrong circles.  It seems for most people when the money starts to become realised, be it from saving or profit, nature takes the hit to do so.  If people lived in a live or die world as the animals do we probably would not have 9 billion people on the planet, and people would respect others, themselves, and their supporting envoronment much much more.  Science, medicine, and that humans can talk will always see us breed and survive like rabbits in generous seson.  I figure one day and like rabits, when the season is over and the environment can not support the science and medicine anymore, we will die on mass.  Mother nature will not have one, she too will most likely be very sick if not fatilly ill.  There is no doubt in my mind anyway if we keep our current path.  Just be great if more people took a genuine interest while we have some time and hope.  Dare to dream is a saying I really like, but most people seem to scared to do so.      

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

tomboy
tomboy's picture

what good would money do when world one lives in become hell ? like it or not, we all live/share the same world and no amount of money can shield someone from what is happening in global scale... can you imagine a very wealthy individual to have a happy life when one's surrounding environment is not ? (degrading natural environment, high competition/inadequate resources, stress/struggles of other ppl which can affect their mental status and hence their action towards themselves and others around)

Reflex
Reflex's picture

I really need to work out how to "unsubscribe" from this thread now...

Samford Valley Qld.

jason

Comon Reflex.

Most threads go off topic after the first 6 post of so.  But it seems you think I am a dill, or that is how I am talking it.  Might be time to bow out of this forum anyway.  Seems some members are not OK with somone elses thoughts on another thread also.  

take care.   

Ipswich Shire Eastern flanks

tomboy
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lol ~ just ignoring it is one thing and coming in and saying so is another

soakes
soakes's picture

I hereby will ignore this thread

soakes
Victoria, Australia

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