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   Mus musculus (mammal)  français     
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         Management Information

    House mice are controlled by poisoning, fumigation, trapping and repellents. Thirty eight percent of mouse eradication attempts on islands worldwide have failed (17 out of 45 attempts), but there doesn't seem to be a consistent simple operational explanation for these failures. Eradications should be attempted provided sufficient planning and preparation has taken place to rule out failure due to operational errors or factors that can be controlled for. Factors to consider in order to maximise the likelihood of success include:
    o Will the chosen poisoning method allow every mouse on the island access to poison?
    o Take genetic samples prior to the eradication attempt. This allows the distinction to be made between eradication failure and a re invasion and also can be used to determine sub-species.
    o Consider the effects of other mammals. Will they prevent mice accessing poison?
    o Will the mice eat the bait? Consider bait trials to check for poison palatability and cereal aversion.
    o Are there areas which may require extra poison? Dense grassland can support very high numbers of mice and may require more poison than forest areas (MacKay et al., 2007).

    Preventative measures: House mice are able to stow away in very small spaces so there is a constant threat of invasion or reinvasion. Visitors to areas that are at risk of mouse invasion should be encouraged to check all baggage and pockets for mice before heading to such places. Mouse free areas that are considered at risk of invasion should implement a programme of regular monitoring to identify mouse invasions early.

    Chemical: House mice have been successfully eradicated from 28 islands worldwide. In all these cases some form of anticoagulant poison was used (MacKay et al. 2007). Brodifacoum was the most commonly used poison, other successful attempts used pindone, warfarin, bromodiolone and floccoumafen. Brodifacoum is a very widely used toxin but there are some concerns about it building up in ecosystems (Hoare and Hare, 2006). Fisher (2005) discusses the susceptibility of mice to a variety of anticoagulant poisons; Morriss et al. (2008) updates this study by investigating factors that affect the palatability of different baits to house mice and rat species.

    Biological: Virally vectored immunocontraception using a modified murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) has been investigated in Australia to control mouse plagues in the grain growing regions but results are not promising. Viral transmission rates are too slow to effectively control fertility on the population (Arthur et al. 2009). A review of fertility control in rodents is available (Jacob et al. 2010).

    Integrated management: The abundance of M. musculus will increase dramatically where a significant number of rats are removed from an area, perhaps due to an improved food supply or a release from predation pressure (Caut et al. 2007, Witmer et al. 2007). It is important to attempt to remove mice at the same time as rats to prevent large populations of mice appearing following rat removal. français     



         Location Specific Management Information
    Adele Is. (Abel Tasman National Park)
    A media release by the Department of Conservation (DOC), New Zealand announces that DOC is to undertake the eradication of mice from three Abel Tasman National Park islands (Adele, Fisherman's and Tonga islands). Mice are currently the only mammalian pests to be found on these islands. The operation planned for the beginning of July 2007, is to involve two aerial (helicopter dispersal) applications of cereal pellets containing the anti-coagulant toxin brodifacoum, about 10 days apart. Monitoring will continue for two years after the operation to establish eradication success. For more details please follow this link Mice eradication to make Abel Tasman islands predator-free (Department of Conservation (DOC), 13th June 2007).
    Allports Is.
    House mice (Mus musculus) were eradicated from Allports Island (16 ha) in 1989 using the bait station system used in the eradication of Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) from Breaksea Island.
    Browns Is. (North Island)
    House mice (Mus musculus) and rats were eradicated from Browns Island in September 1995. Bromadiolone-impregnated pellets were delivered by helicopter drop over the island. In the following weeks mouse and rat traps were set out on a grid. There has been no sign of rats or mice since October 1995. 50 Rentokil bait stations are maintained on the island and checked periodically for rodent sign.
    Cayman Brac
    Environmental Health Section of the Government maintains a rodent control program (Morgan, 1994 in Varnham, 2006) in populated areas only
    Enderby Island (sub-Antarctic) (New Zealand sub-Antarctic Islands)
    The eradication of rabbits and house mice (Mus musculus) in 1993 involved two phases. Two aerial poison drops were carried out, using brodifacoum. This was carried out in February, outside the rabbit breeding season. Follow up was carried out using a rabbit-tracking dog, spotlighting and traps to remove the remaining rabbits. About 1% of the rabbit population did not appear to take any bait. There were some impacts on non-target species - four Auckland Island teal (Anas aucklandica aucklandica) carcasses were found on Enderby Island and three on Rose Island, and approximately two thirds of the Enderby and Rose Islands subantarctic skua (Stercorarius skua lonnburgi) population died, although the population has now recovered. Monitoring in 1994/1995 failed to find any signs of rabbits or mice. Since eradication, the vegetation has shown significant signs of recovery.
    Fajou Is. (Reserve Naturelle du Grand Cul-de-sac Marin)
    In March 2001, an attempt was made to eradicate the Javanese mangoose (Herpestes auropunctatus), the ship rat (Rattus rattus) and the house mouse (Mus musculus) from Fajou island in Guadeloupe. A follow up in December 2001 and January 2002 showed that the ship rat eradication had failed. There was a second attempt at eradicating the ship rats in March 2002, but it seems that it also failed. However it confirmed the success of the mongoose operation using traps alone. The success of the March 2001 house mouse operation using trapping and poisoning (Bromadiolone concentration 50 ppm, hand broadcast ) could not be properly evaluated (Lorvelec, O., et al. 2004).
    Fisherman's Is. (Abel Tasman National Park)
    A media release by the Department of Conservation (DOC), New Zealand announces that DOC is to undertake the eradication of mice from three Abel Tasman National Park islands (Adele, Fisherman's and Tonga islands). Mice are currently the only mammalian pests to be found on these islands. The operation planned for the beginning of July 2007, is to involve two aerial (helicopter dispersal) applications of cereal pellets containing the anti-coagulant toxin brodifacoum, about 10 days apart. Monitoring will continue for two years after the operation to establish eradication success. For more details please follow this link Mice eradication to make Abel Tasman islands predator-free (Department of Conservation (DOC), 13th June 2007).
    Flat Is. (Mauritius)
    An eradication programme was established in 1998 to remove ship rats (Rattus rattus), house mice (Mus musculus) and feral cats (Felis catus), using a brodifacoum bait on a 25 m grid. Land and hermit crabs were present on part of the island, and in order to prevent crabs taking the bait, it was necessary to raise the bait stations about 15 cm above the ground. However experience has showed the best way to overcome this problem is by simply increasing the amount of bait applied.
    Gough Is. (sub-Antarctic) (Tristan da Cunha Is. (sub-Antarctic))
    Activities on Gough are governed by a Management Plan (Cooper & Ryan 1994). Research, conservation action and logistical activities that fall outside the ambit of the Management Plan are subject to approval from the Tristan Administrator, who takes advice from the Tristan Biodiversity Advisory Group, comprised of researchers familiar with Gough and Tristan environments.
    Gough Is. (sub-Antarctic) (Tristan da Cunha Is. (sub-Antarctic))
    Removal of mice remains a long term goal, some control in buildings has been achieved (Cooper and Ryan, 1994 in Varnham, 2006). Further assessments of the impacts of mice are required (Jones et al., 2003b in Varnham, 2006).
    Grand Cayman
    Environmental Health Section of the Government maintains a rodent control program (Morgan, 1994 in Varnham, 2006) in populated areas only
    Ile aux Sables
    The two islands (Ile Cocos (15 ha) and Ile aux Sables (8 ha)) were infested with house mice (Mus musculus), and in 1995 an eradication programme took place. 25 mm plastic tubes were used as bait stations where land crabs were prevalent, and were placed over a 10 m grid. The bait used was brodifacoum. High concentrations of land crabs were present on the island, which took the bait, and bait station, down their holes. More bait was put out to ensure there was some available to house mice if they were still present.
    Ile Cocos
    The two islands (Ile Cocos (15 ha) and Ile aux Sables (8 ha)) were infested with house mice (Mus musculus), and in 1995 an eradication programme took place. 25 mm plastic tubes were used as bait stations where land crabs were prevalent, and were placed over a 10 m grid. The bait used was brodifacoum. High concentrations of land crabs were present on the island, which took the bait, and bait station, down their holes. More bait was put out to ensure there was some available to house mice if they were still present.
    Kayangel Is.
    A feasibility study was planned for June 2006 as part of a PII (Pacific Invasives Initiative) project, which should lead to a management and eradication plans. Target species for eradication include Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus), ship rats (Rattus rattus), cats (Felis catus) and house mice (Mus musculus).
    Little Cayman
    Environmental Health Section of the Government maintains a rodent control program (Morgan, 1994 in Varnham, 2006) in populated areas only
    Lord Howe Is.
    House mice (Mus musculus) are currently controlled by poisoning in some areas on Lord Howe Island.
    Mana Is.
    House mice (Mus musculus) were eradicated from Mana Island (217 ha) in 1989 using both bait stations and aerial broadcast of bait.
    Motuihe Is. (North Island)
    Trapping carried out in 1995 caught 212 mice. In 1997 an eradication attempt was made, using two aerial drops of Talon 7-20, containing brodifacoum and bitrex (a bittering agent). There was an eight-day interval between the two drops. A total of 29 birds from ten species were found dead following the poison drop. Trapping for rats and mice in 1999 and 2000 failed to find any rodent sign.
    Rasa Is.
    House mice (Mus musculus) were eradicated using bait stations containing brodifacoum wax blocks.
    Saint-Paul Is. (sub-Antarctic)
    House mice numbers were significantly reduced during an aerial drop of brodifacoum bait in an attempt to eradicate rats and rabbits in January 1997. However they reappeared in late March of 1997. They have since recolonised the island and are more numerous than prior to 1997, presumably because of the absence of rats.
    Southeast Farallon Is.
    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a proposal to eradicate house mice (Mus musculus) from Southeast Farallon Island.
    Sth. Georgia and Sth. Sandwich Iss (sub-Antarctic)
    Government consider mice are of low priority for eradication, though this assessment will be reviewed after the collection of site specific baseline data (McIntosh and Walton, 2000 in Varnham, 2006).
    Tonga Is. (New Zealand) (Abel Tasman National Park)
    A media release by the Department of Conservation (DOC), New Zealand announces that DOC is to undertake the eradication of mice from three Abel Tasman National Park islands (Adele, Fisherman's and Tonga islands). Mice are currently the only mammalian pests to be found on these islands. The operation planned for the beginning of July 2007, is to involve two aerial (helicopter dispersal) applications of cereal pellets containing the anti-coagulant toxin brodifacoum, about 10 days apart. Monitoring will continue for two years after the operation to establish eradication success. For more details please follow this link Mice eradication to make Abel Tasman islands predator-free (Department of Conservation (DOC), 13th June 2007).
    Wenderholm Regional Park
    Intensive control of alien species commenced at Wenderholm in 1992, when annual rodent poisoning began from spring to late summer, alternating between Talon 50 WB pellets (brodifacoum) and Storm Rodenticide (Flocoumafen), to avoid selection for toxin resistance. Initially, drainpipe bait stations were used, but in 1999 these were replaced with Philproof bait stations to reduce bait wastage, and Pestoff Rodent Blocks were used (brodifacoum) as the bait. There is some concern about the residual effects of second-generation anticoagulants, and future poisoning operations may require a more environmentally acceptable toxin. Mouse numbers remained high in some years or possibly increased.


         Management Resources/Links

    4. Caut, S., Casanovas, J.G., Virgos, E., Lozano, J., Witmer, G.W. & Courchamp, F., 2007. Rats dying for mice: Modelling the competitor release effect. Austral Ecology 32, 858-868.
    5. Cooper, J., and P. G. Ryan. 1994. Management Plan for the Gough Island Wildlife Reserve. Government of Tristan da Cunha, Edinburgh, Tristan da Cunha.
    7. Cunningham, D.M. and Moors, P.J., 1993. Guide To The Identification And Collection Of New Zealand Rodents. Department of Conservation, NZ.
            Summary: A Guide To The Identification And Collection Of New Zealand Rodents, information on trapping methods.
    9. Fisher, P. and A.T. Airey ., 2009. Factors affecting 1080 pellet bait acceptance by house mice (Mus musculus). DOC Research & Development Series 306. 22 p.
            Summary: Abstract: Avoidance of 1080 (sodium fluoroacetate) could be one of the main reasons why multi-species control operations sometimes do not produce high reductions in wild house mouse (Mus musculus) populations in New Zealand. This study investigated how the concentration of 1080 in pellet bait affects acceptance by mice; whether pre-feeding with non-toxic bait mitigates mouse avoidance of bait containing 1080; and whether a non-toxic bait containing a masking agent is acceptable to mice. Wild-caught mice demonstrated very low acceptance of, and subsequent low mortality (25%) from, baits containing 0.08% 1080 in a two-choice laboratory test. In a second test, mice ate comparatively more pellets containing 0.001% 1080, but there was no resulting mortality and the non-toxic alternative pellets were still significantly favoured. Pre-feeding for 3 days with non-toxic pellets did not improve the low acceptance of 0.15% 1080 pellet baits by mice. In two of the three two-choice tests, the intake of all food by mice was significantly reduced for 2 days following the introduction of 1080-treated food. This ‘drop feed’ effect was followed by an increase, mostly of non-toxic food, in daily intake over the next 3 days, to return to eating similar amounts to those measured before the introduction of 1080 (and to daily food intakes of control mice). Non-toxic bait was strongly preferred over two different types of non-toxic bait containing a masking agent. We suggest that avoidance of 1080 by mice is mediated by conditioned taste aversion. However, masking the taste of 1080 may not be effective if mice are micro-sampling and learning to associate sublethal poisoning effects with any distinctive taste. Improvement of bait efficacy may involve developing baits that delay the onset of symptoms of 1080 poisoning; or pre-feeding with baits containing a non-toxic substance with similar taste and/or odour to 1080.
    10. Guide to the Identification and Distribution of New Zealand Rodents. By D.M. Cunningham and P.J. Moors.
            Summary: Detailed information on identification and trapping methods. Identification And Collection Of New Zealand Rodents IDENTIFICATION AND COLLECTION OF NEW ZEALAND RODENTS
    11. Hoare, J.M. & Hare, K.M., 2006. The impact of brodifacoum on non-target wildlife: gaps in knowledge. New Zealand Journal of Ecology 30, 157-167.
    12. IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4.
            Summary: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species provides taxonomic, conservation status and distribution information on taxa that have been globally evaluated using the IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. This system is designed to determine the relative risk of extinction, and the main purpose of the IUCN Red List is to catalogue and highlight those taxa that are facing a higher risk of global extinction (i.e. those listed as Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable). The IUCN Red List also includes information on taxa that are categorized as Extinct or Extinct in the Wild; on taxa that cannot be evaluated because of insufficient information (i.e. are Data Deficient); and on taxa that are either close to meeting the threatened thresholds or that would be threatened were it not for an ongoing taxon-specific conservation programme (i.e. are Near Threatened).
    Available from: http://www.iucnredlist.org/ [Accessed 25 May 2011]
    13. IUCN/SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group (ISSG)., 2010. A Compilation of Information Sources for Conservation Managers.
            Summary: This compilation of information sources can be sorted on keywords for example: Baits & Lures, Non Target Species, Eradication, Monitoring, Risk Assessment, Weeds, Herbicides etc. This compilation is at present in Excel format, this will be web-enabled as a searchable database shortly. This version of the database has been developed by the IUCN SSC ISSG as part of an Overseas Territories Environmental Programme funded project XOT603 in partnership with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment. The compilation is a work under progress, the ISSG will manage, maintain and enhance the database with current and newly published information, reports, journal articles etc.
    14. Lorvelec, O., Delloue, X., Pascal, M., & mege, S. 2004. Impacts des mammiferes allochtones sur quelques especes autochtones de l'Isle Fajou (Reserve Naturelle du Grand Cul-de-sac Marin, Guadeloupe), etablis a l'issue d'une tentative d'eradication. Revue D'Ecologie - La Terre et La Vie 59(1-2): 293-307.
            Summary: French language. Information about impacts, eradication methodology, results and discussion in French.
    16. Marris, E. 2005. Mice Gang up on Endangered Birds. Nature Publishing Group (news@nature.com).
    20. Springer, Keith, 2006. Macquarie Island - Mammalian Pests: Past, Present and Future. 2006, ALIENS 23 (Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Special Issue).
    23. The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. Undated. Home > Our work > Science > Ecology of threatened species > Work from 2001 > Gough Island> Research and Monitoring.
    28. Wanless Ross M., Andrea Angel, Richard J. Cuthbert, Geoff M. Hilton and Peter G. Ryan., 2007. Can predation by invasive mice drive seabird extinctions? Biology Letters. (2007) 3, 241–24 doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0120 Published online 3 April 2007
    29. Witmer, G.W., Boyd, F. & Hillis-Starr, Z., 2007. The successful eradication of introduced roof rats (Rattus rattus) from Buck Island using diphacinone, followed by an irruption of house mice (Mus musculus). Wildlife Research 34, 108-115.

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ISSG Landcare Research NBII IUCN University of Auckland