State Releases New Rat Plan
Wildlife and People at Risk: A Plan to Keep Rats Out of Alaska" was released in the fall of 2007 by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game.
This comprehensive plan lays out strategies to protect Alaska from rat invasions, respond to rat spills and eradicate existing infestations. It also calls for the formation of an interagency group - the Alaska Rodent Action Team (AKRAT). Read the plan at this link.
New, Tough Laws to Protect State from Rat Damage
The Alaska Board of Game adopted new regulations that went into effect in September 2007. The regulations were designed to protect Alaska's people and wildlife by preventing the spread of rats into the rat-free parts of Alaska and controlling rats where they are already established. Read more about it on our Rat Laws page.
These regulations will affect:
- boats in Alaskan waters with rats aboard,
- trucks or any other moving vehicle with rats aboard,
- harbors or other facilities with rats,
- anyone whose garbage is feeding rats or mice.
Environmental Assessment for Rat Island Project
An Environmental Assessment for the Restoration of Rat Island was released in December of 2007 and is open for public comment through January 11, 2008.
This Assessment analyzes the consequences of the proposed action of eradicating rats from Rat Island to allow the native ecosystem to recover. Uninhabited Rat Island, located in the Aleutian Island chain about 1300miles west of Anchorage, is part of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. Rats have eliminated all seabirds and many other birds from the island. Download a copy of the Environmental Assessment at the link above. Send comments to Rat_Island@fws.gov.
Pet Rats Released at Anchorage Airport
At least two pet rats were abandoned at the Anchorage Airport at the end of January. The rats were found near an open pet carrier hidden under a stairwell. An alert passerby reported the rats and Alaska Department of Fish & Game biologist Rick Sinnott responded. The rats were killed when they could not be netted. An airport is one of the worst possible places rats could be at large because of the possibility that, by chewing and gnawing, they could damage important navigational equipment or planes themselves.
Alaska Journal of Commerce >>
Alaska Fish & Wildlife News >>
International Herald Tribune from the New York Times>>
Anchorage Daily News Jan. 28, 2008
Aleutian ports wield new weapon in war on rats
Stop Rat Outreach Team Reels in Fishermen at Pacific Marine Expo
The Stop Rats campaign debuted at Pacific Marine Expo in Seattle in November of 2006. The new exhibit and brochure and particularly the gummy rats (Take a Bite Out of Alaska’s Rat Problem) went over big with the audience of commercial fishers. About 40 Alaska fishermen signed up to receive free rat prevention kits at the show and more contacted us after they returned home. Terry Johnson of Alaska Sea Grant, Shelley Johnson of Shipping Safety Partnership and Art Sowls and Poppy Benson of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge manned the booth and/or met with various shipping groups.
Contacting a fisherman at Pacific Marine Expo.