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Roberto the Rat

By GVI Curieuse 2 months ago

The ratting survey on Curieuse is a fairly new project that has been put in place to try to eradicate the invasive Black Rat. The reason the project was started is because of the negative impacts the rats have had on Curieuse creatures such as the baby tortoises. At a young age the size and softness of the baby tortoises make for an easy and tasty snack for the rats. This leads to poor survival rates of the baby tortoises and inhibits the population from growing. To help decrease and hopefully one day eliminate the rats, traps have been set up in 6 transects. This week I was on ratting for the first time which meant being allocated a transect and hiking up and around trying to find the specific traps for that transect. It was really enjoyable looking for them, felt like a treasure huntǃ Once at a trap, you had to check for any dead rats as well as if there are any nibbles on the bait. Originally I was very nervous about the whole rat situation as I was not use to rats at home in New Zealand. However this experience has made me very comfortable with rats and I have even grown to like rats.  Although the rat traps have lead to a decrease in the number of rats in the areas of the transects, there are still a few rates roaming around base at night. The thought of this use to put me off however in time I have grown to accept the rats and even named the rat around our dorm Rubertoǃ Although these rats are pests it is important to GVI that they do not suffer and that the traps are humane and will not kill other species. The traps we use have been brought in from New Zealand as they are the most humane and are known to not kill other species like the native Seychelles skink. Overall it was a great experience getting to be involved in the new project and learning to love ratsǃ