Home Institution

University of Denver

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Tanzania-Zanzibar: Coastal Ecology and Natural Resource Management


This project investigated the activity, distribution, and density of brown rats (R. norvegicus) on Misali Island, Pemba. These factors were studied through field observations conducted over a 21-day observation period. Brown rats were highest in density around areas of human activity, attracted to the detritus, an ample food source. Although highest in density in these areas, a greater total population of brown rats was distributed in the coastal forest due to its proportion of area on the overall island. In the forest, the rats were most active along the coastal sections for unknown and unexplored reasons – possibly due to regular ocean detritus. Based on ad hoc observations, the rats pose some threats to native flora and fauna including disease and out-competition. Brown rats are considered pests on Misali Island, as they destroy human infrastructure and property. The project establishes baseline information to address this problem and reduce the impact of rats on conservation in this protected area.


African Studies | Animal Studies | Bioinformatics | Environmental Sciences | Environmental Studies | Natural Resources and Conservation | Zoology


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