Ground baiting was carried out in an operational pest control program between 1993 and 1995 aimed at eradicating Black rats Rattus rattus from Bowen Island in Jervis Bay. Rattus rattus was abundant across most of the Island and given their propensity to prey on ground nesting sea birds, were identified as a threat to Shearwaters (Puffinus spp.) in the Bowen Island Management Plan 1988. Small mammal trapping and spotlighting surveys were carried out prior to baiting in 1993 to assess the non-target species at risk of poisoning. No native mammal species were captured, although 97 R. rattus were trapped over 353 trap nights and two were spotlighted on two survey nights. Twenty three baiting transects spaced 50 metres apart in dense vegetation were hand cut across the Island and bait stations (n=228) were placed every 50 metres along each transect. An additional 50 bait stations were placed on rock platforms for the last two of twelve baiting events. Tw o rodenticides were used to avoid bait shyness (Brodificoum and Bromadiolone). Chew sticks were deployed on two occasions, in 1996 and 2002, to detect R. rattus presence and no sign of R. rattus were recorded. In 2004, trapping and spotlighting surveys were carried out to determine the success of the control program and determine if native species had responded to R. rattus control. There was still no sign of native ground dwelling mammals. The lack of gnawing on the chew sticks supported our conclusion that R. rattus have been eradicated from Bowen Island.

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