Scientific studies show initiating native Australian bush rats to areas around the Sydney Harbour will keep black rats from scourging the flora and fauna.
Black rats are non-native species, which can bring various diseases like lung worm and plague, and affect humans and animals. These pests were introduced to Australia more than centuries ago, possibly from the first carriers of white settlers.
The bush rats once existed in Sydney some centuries ago. They were eliminated by the government due to the epidemic of bubonic plague.
Last Thursday night, around 40 bush rats were freed on a hectare of land. This was also the same number of black rats that were trapped and removed. According to research, a specie of rat won’t invade another domain. It’s one type of pest control in Sydney which is proven an effective way.
“Basic theory states that if an intact native fauna exists, encroachers won’t get into these areas,” said Conversation BiologyAssociate Professor Peter Banks of the University of Sydney.
“So we started to think of putting bush rats in to eliminate black rats.”
Unlike black rats, bush rates never climb up trees and disturb birds’ nests and eat their eggs. This helps the birds to increase in numbers. They also prefer to stay outdoors and will never enter houses.
Furthermore, if the black rats carrying a disease enter the harbour, the disease will spread without having to damage surrounding areas of the harbour.
According to Banks, “This is how the plague affected victims in 1901, which were triggered by a huge population of black rats.”
The pest control in Sydney cannot use poison to kill the black rats as it poses so much danger to living things and the environment in the surrounding area.
Among the bush rats freed near the harbour, 20 of them wore electronic tags and evidence showed they didn’t travel far from the areas they were freed.
“Native species when used will help eradicate other forms of rats in the area,” Banks said.
“They will help prevent black rats from getting anywhere and hopefully will provide diverse benefits from returning to the environment.”