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Posted by: Flin May 28 2018, 07:13 AM
Far north Queensland islands to close for baiting program targeting rats
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Normanby Island, part of the Frankland Islands group, will close to the public due to rat baiting.

Nearly a dozen islands off the far north Queensland coast will close to the public from today because of a rat problem.

The Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service will begin a three-week aerial baiting program targeting black rats on the Frankland Islands and Northern Barnard Islands, south of Cairns.

Ranger-in-charge Warrick Armstrong said the pest rats, or Rattus rattus species, posed a threat to thousands of nesting seabirds in the Great Barrier Reef world-heritage area.

"They cause major extinctions and a decline in island biodiversity around the world, and we certainly know on our Australian islands they have a huge impact on nesting seabirds," Mr Armstrong said.

"Obviously these islands play a very important part in seabird and migratory shorebird habitat.

"They are damaging seabird eggs, eating hatchlings.

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A Rattus rattus, also known as a black rat.

"We also have a lot of visitors to campgrounds, so there's a risk of disease that's carried by these pest rats."

The rats are believed to have reached the islands by "rafting" over on logs during flooding events or by stowing away on boats.

"They are noticeable. There are signs of them, scats and droppings and tracks along the high-tide mark where they are foraging," Mr Armstrong said.

"They are gnawing on the native cabbage to get moisture because some of these islands don't have their own water source."

The Rat Patrol is back.

Posted by: Alicia May 28 2018, 09:31 AM
Sounds like a good idea.

Posted by: charka May 28 2018, 02:15 PM
New food rat on a stick

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