Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 550998
Title Evidence for the effectiveness of controlling muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus L.) populations by trapping
Author(s) Bos, Daan; Kentie, Rosemarie; Haye, Maurice La; Ydenberg, Ronald C.
Source European Journal of Wildlife Research 65 (2019)3. - ISSN 1612-4642
Department(s) Animal Ecology
Resource Ecology
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) Capture-mark-recapture - Invasive alien species (IAS) - Pest species - Population dynamics - Trapping

Unambiguous evidence for the effectiveness of muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus L.) control in well-established populations in mainland Europe is lacking. Yet, this evidence is important given ongoing public challenges to the need for muskrat control and the expressed political aim of the European Union to eradicate invasive alien species, including the muskrat. In this study, indices of muskrat abundance based on livetrapping were compared among (i) sites at which muskrat control had been suspended for 3 years (suspended trapping), (ii) sites with ongoing control by kill trapping (ongoing trapping) and (iii) a site at which control efforts had ceased more than 8 years previously (no trapping). In the no trapping site, the muskrat abundance index was variable but consistently high, while in the ongoing trapping sites, the muskrat abundance index was consistently low. In the suspended trapping sites, the index of muskrat abundance increased from a level near that of the ongoing trapping sites to that of the no trapping sites. The findings are corroborated by population estimates based on data from robust design mark-recapture models and data from kill trapping. The results are interpreted as compelling proof for an effect of control on muskrat numbers, a basic premise of the control programme.

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