Authors: Alexander M. Stuarta*, Colin V. Prescotta, Grant R. Singletonb, Ravindra C. Joshic & Leocadio S. Sebastian
We investigated the species diversity and habitat use of rodents in the Ifugao Rice Terraces (IRT), Luzon, Philippines, as a first step in their assessment either as pest species of rice or as potential non-target species of rodent control practice. Trapping was carried out in caneland and forest habitats adjacent to rice cropland using trap lines of 10 – 15 cage-traps. Four trapping rounds, each consisting of 5 nights trapping, were replicated at two sites during the months of May and June. A diverse rodent fauna was recorded, including the non-native pest species, Rattus tanezumi, and the native species, Rattus everetti and Chrotomys mindorensis. Results from trapping and spool-and-line tracking suggested that these native species do not contribute to rice damage and that several may actually be beneficial in the ricefield ecosystem as vermivores that feed on invertebrate pests. Control should therefore be directed at the pest species, R. tanezumi, minimising non-target effects on the non-pest rodent species.