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BY: Elizabeth Harrington
The Fish and Wildlife Service is spending over $85,000 to assess the population of rats in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma.
Government - University - Florida - Survey - Silver
The government is tasking the University of Florida to survey the silver rice rat population to see if the rats are "resilient to hurricanes." Irma, a category 4 hurricane that made landfall last year, killed 134 people and cost up to $65 billion in property damage.
"Specifically, a range-wide survey of the [silver rice rat] SRR, an endangered species, will be conducted using methods appropriate to the species and habitat," according to a grant notice posted last week.
Fish - Wildlife - Service - Project - Rat
The Fish and Wildlife Service said the project would use floating rat traps "in accordance" with the government's "Rice Rat Trapping protocol."
"Occupied areas and the areas adjacent to them will then be resampled the following winter, approximately 12 months later," according to the grant announcement.
Assessments - Recruitment - Colonization - Rates - Population
"This will allow assessments of localized recruitment and colonization rates to determine if the population is recovering and resilient to hurricanes,"...
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