Articles on Rats

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Cities around the world appear to be harboring increasing numbers of rats, including this one: the inflatable ‘Scabby the Rat.’ robert cicchetti/Shutterstock.com

Super rats or sickly rodents? Our war against urban rats could be leading to swift evolutionary changes

Cities often embark upon drastic and expensive eradication campaigns designed to rapidly rid the city of pests like rats. But are the surviving rats stronger or weaker than before?
Learning about urban rat populations through genetic testing reveals information about their movements through cities. Shutterstock

Rat detective uses DNA to uncover how rats scurry around cities

Genetic analysis shows that urban rats prefer to stay near their relatives; however, some of them migrate. Knowing this could help with pest control efforts.
Rats are part of the urban ecosystem and an urban ecology approach to managing their populations may involve learning to share the city. Mert Guller/Unsplash

Living with rats involves understanding the city as an ecosystem

An ecosystems approach to cities that recognizes rats as part of the ecosystem can help address the challenges presented by urban rats.
A Polish cow who escaped while on her way to the slaughterhouse is seen here with her new companions, a herd of wild bison. It’s time to treat the animals who work so hard for us with humanity and compassion. (Rafal Kowalczyk via AP)

Beyond beasts of burden: How to reward our animals for their work

Animals do so much work for humans, from farm animals who die to feed us to service animals helping veterans with PTSD. It's time we gave back by providing humane living and working conditions.
Gene drives aim to deliberately spread bad genes when invasive species such as mice reproduce. Colin Robert Varndell/shutterstock.com

‘Gene drives’ could wipe out whole populations of pests in one fell swoop

Releasing just 100 mice carrying a faulty gene designed to stop them reproducing can remove an entire population of 50,000, a new study shows, paving the way for new eradication efforts.
Feral cats are a major driver of global biodiversity loss, contributing to 26% of bird, mammal and reptile extinctions. T Doherty

Invasive predators are eating the world’s animals to extinction – and the worst is close to home

Cats, rats, foxes and other mammal predators have been implicated in 60% of the world's animals extinctions.
Public park in Manhattan, home to a rat population with over 100 visible burrows. Dr. Michael H. Parsons

Scientist at work: Revealing the secret lives of urban rats

Rats foul our food, spread disease and damage property, but we know very little about them. A biologist explains how he tracks wild rats in New York City, and what he's learned about them so far.
Uncollected rubbish provides food and shelter for rodents which can spread plague if they pick up the bacteria. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Explainer: understanding plague in the 21st century

Plague, one of the deadliest diseases in the world, has been reported in several African countries in the past decade.

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