Scientists in New York City discover a valuable method to track rats

phys.org | 6/20/2017 | Staff
smilingbearsmilingbear (Posted by) Level 4
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A new paper in The Journal of Urban Ecology, published by Oxford University Press, finds that rats can be baited to, or repelled from, locations using pheromones found in the scents of other rats.

Rats cost the world's economy more than $300 billion a year. In addition to causing fines and business closures, rats spread disease, start fires, and disable motor vehicles. In Manhattan alone, rodent activity has been found in 23% of all restaurants. Despite these impacts, little is known about the behavior of urban rats, whose behaviors differ from that of laboratory rats. This lack of information is due to several factors, including the difficulty of releasing pest animals back into cities after capturing and identifying them, the reluctance of property owners to provide access to researchers, and rat control programs.

Year - Period - Researchers - Microchips - City

Over a one year period, researchers trapped and implanted microchips in city rats in a waste recycling center in Brooklyn, New York. To overcome issues in using GPS to track movement in dense urban environments, they utilized radio-frequency identification sensors. Male and female scents were then placed on, or near, these sensors and replaced every two weeks. To determine whether risk impacted the findings, researchers positioned these devices in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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