back to article University rats on Sydney suburb

Mosman Council in Sydney, along with Sydney University and Taronga Zoo, hopes to drive out rats with more rats. The native “bush rat” – Rattus fuscipes to scientists, the Bogul rat to its friends – is being reintroduced to bushland areas in the harbourside suburb, in the hope that it will displace a pest that arrived with …


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  1. Sekundra
    IT Angle


    Does this rat also not chew through them or something? Nice scientist btw ;)

  2. James 100

    Rat v rat

    Bah, we try this every election and we're still overrun with the two-legged kind. Still, maybe the small furry version will do a better job - at least they'll fiddle expenses less....

  3. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    What a cutie!

    The rodent, of course. What did you think?!

  4. Roger Varley

    Awww - ain't that cute

    and the funny hamstery looking thing isn't too bad either

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    oh my!

    she's got her rat out!

    Paris because... well....

  6. NomNomNom


    that's 3 sexist comments out of 4

    going to need to do better than that to achieve 5 9s

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Sexy != sexist

      I fail to see how it is sexist to point out that someone is attractive.

  7. NomNomNom

    i spoke too soon

    4/5 after the refresh

  8. Jess--

    rentokil sponsoring a project to introduce more rats

    am I the only one that sees the irony in rentokil sponsoring a project that aims to introduce more rats?

    1. Ru

      Its a conspiracy

      They're clearly anticipating that project will be a horrible success, and there will be thousands of the little buggers everywhere and people will gladly pay more to get rid of em.

  9. mac42

    This doesn't sound promising.

    Did anyone else see the flaws in their theory? First, it flat out stated that the rat catchers caught both of them and that's why the bush rat isn't in Sydney. That means that both the rats were there and living together before. Second, the black rats invade (and live in) dwellings and the bush rat doesn't. Wouldn't that mean they don't compete for the same territory? Third, when they got rid of black rats in an area, the bush rats moved back in. This seems to prove that if one of the species is to be displaced, it would be the bush rat. I get this mental picture of a cartoon bush rat clinging onto a gatepost for dear life screaming "Don't send me in! Great God, don't make me go in!"

    1. Goat Jam


      This sort of muddled thinking is all too common in the soft sciences of today. Too many kids want to go to uni and get jobs working with cute furry animals and the Universities are nothing more than degree factories for whatever happens to be popular at the time.

      The theory these people are working on is clearly flawed.

      They know that black rats live in houses and these cute rats don't, yet they expect the cute rat to drive the nasty rats out of houses anyway?

      Why any rational person would expect that to happen eludes me.

    2. The Indomitable Gall

      I think that's where Rentokill comes in....

      I doubt Rentokill would be involved if there wasn't an element of pest elimination involved, but they'll be playing it down for fear of PETA et al trying to stop them. I suspect they'll be aiming to kill the black rats and use the local ones as a barrier to stop the black rats moving between buildings and repopulating areas they've already left.

      But this leaves the question: do bushrats like sewers? Cos if they don't, this probably won't work....

    3. Olafthemighty

      Mental picture

      Thanks - now I have it too!

  10. bumpy

    May the most bad-ass rat win

    Special training for the bush rats (firearms etc) could help ensure success.

  11. disgruntled yank


    Isn't it said that the Norway rat came to drive out the black rat in much of Europe during the 18th Century, thus reducing the incidence of plague? As far as I know this was managed by the rats, not by people; yet I have read that Sir Charles Price, then governor of Jamaica, introduced the Norway rat there in hopes of the same effect.

  12. BillCo

    Muddled science? RTFA guys!

    ...if you follow the link to the web site you can see that:

    1. After the plague when everything with four legs and a tails was killed, there was no way for bush rats to re-invade because the parkland is cut off by urban developments.

    2. The Bush rats are being sourced in bush land in the far north of Sydney where they are plentiful and defend their territory very well against black rats from surrounding suburbs

    3. Separate studies have demonstrated that Bush rats, once re-introduced to a suitable environment where they can establish territories will hold those territories against black rats

    4. They do not expect the bush rats to drive black rats from local houses, only to colonise the park lands and protect flora and fauna there from black rats. This project will do nothing for the urban areas beside the park land and is not expected to.

    5. The concept of a biological control on a pest species by a native (non-pest) one is obviously going to be interesting to Rentokil...

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