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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Control of the black rat Rattus rattus for the conservation of the Antiguan racer Alsophis antiguae on Great Bird Island, Antigua

Published source details

Daltry J.C. (2006) Control of the black rat Rattus rattus for the conservation of the Antiguan racer Alsophis antiguae on Great Bird Island, Antigua. Conservation Evidence, 3, 28-29

Summary

The critically endangered Antiguan racer Alsophis antiguae, used to be abundant throughout the Lesser Antillean islands of Antigua (and its satellite islands) and Barbuda. Non-native black rats Rattus rattus were identified as a serious predator of the snake on Great Bird Island, therefore the decision was made to eradicate the rats. A poison-baiting programme proved successful, with the racer population more than doubling in only 18 months in response. Other fauna, including several species of seabirds and hawksbill turtle Eretmochelys imbricata, also benefited greatly from rat removal.