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An Information Guide to Duck Key in the Florida Keys


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marathon's Gambian Pouch rats.

 

 

Image of Gambian Pouch rat.

 

Several articles about large rats invading Grassy Key, one of the islands of Marathon, appeared during the months of December 2004 and January 2005

Usa Today and the Key West Citizen wrote about how these large Gambian Pouch Rats are a cause of worry to Florida Officials.

The rats are referred to as an unwanted newcomer, which " needs to be eradicated, before it increases its range and harms native species that live in natural areas of the Keys." The "animal could be devastating to the Florida Keys' ecological system." The Gambian rat could "compete for food with endangered species such as the silver rice rat, carry diseases and eat bird eggs."

A " greater threat is that the pouch rat could make it to Key Largo, threatening the endangered wood rat," and "There's no telling what would happen if they made it to the mainland."

"There is no telling how many of the rats are living on Grassy Key now" a biologist is quoted as saying in the article.

For more on these Grassy Key rats go to

http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/southflorida/news/gambianrat2005.html

or

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-03-fla-rats_x.htm

 

A long article entitled "GIANT AFRICAN GAMBIAN POUCH RATS - BANE OR BOONE? " may be found at

http://floridakeystreasures.com/creatures/pouchrat/

"It is believed Grassy Key is the first documented breeding population of African Gambian Pouch Rats in the United States. " For the good and bad news about these rats go to the informative link above.

 

 

 

 

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