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Stop Rats Protect AlaskaResources

Contact Us :

Poppy Benson
Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge
(907)226-4606; FAX (907)235-7783

How to Report Rat Sightings

Pribilof Islandsto keep the Pribilof's rat free, report rat sightings or boats entering the harbor with rats immediately. On St. Paul, contact the Ecosystem Conservation Office, (907) 546-3230, pazavadil@tribaleco.com.or (907) 546-3231, djjones@tribaleco.com or VHF Channel 19. On St. George, contact Kayumixtax, (907) 859-2447, max_malavan@hotmail.com .

In Anchorage – Contact Mr. Chris Tofteberg, Food Safety & Sanitation Program Manager, toftebergcu@muni.org or call (907) 343-6509

Statewide - Call-877-INVASIV (1-877-468-2748), a phone line established and maintained by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game Invasive Species Program.

New Rat Plan for Alaska

"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) - to coordinate cross-agency efforts on rat prevention and control.

Beyond Rats

From orange hawkweed to Chinese mitten crab and Atlantic salmon, more and more species that don’t belong in Alaska are finding their way here and taking over wildlife habitat and disrupting food chains. To learn more about the larger problem visit the home page of the newly formed Alaska Invasive Species Working Group.

Rat Outreach Team partners from the Alaska Maritime Refuge, Shipping Safety Partnership and Sea Grant ready for a day of spreading the word at Pacific Marine Expo 2006 Rat Outreach Team

Rat Outreach Team partners from the Alaska Maritime Refuge, Shipping Safety Partnership and Sea Grant ready for a day of spreading the word at Pacific Marine Expo 2006





Drawing the line in the sand to halt the spread of rats in Alaska is a job too big for any one agency or non-profit. The Rat Outreach Team formed in 2006 to spread the word about the dangers rats pose to Alaska and its wildlife. The goals of the Rat Outreach Team are to use information and education to protect Alaskan ecosystems and wildlife by:

1) preventing new rat invasions through motivating others to develop “rat proof” behaviors and policies, and
2) gathering necessary public support and understanding for removing rats from those islands where they are established so that native seabirds and other species can thrive once again.

Here are the interests of some of the organizations on the team. Click on the logos below to visit the websites of the partners.

Alaska Department of Environmental ConservationAlaska Department of Environmental Conservation’s Pesticide Program has the authority to regulate the sale, distribution and use of pesticides such as rodenticides. Their purpose is to protect human health, animals and the environment. ADEC is involved in administering rodenticide applicator training and certification, registering new pesticides and submitting special local need registrations and emergency registrations to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Alaska Department of Fish and GameAlaska Department of Fish and Game has overall responsibility for protecting Alaska’s wildlife from introduced animals including rats. They have an Invasives Species Program, maintain the invasive species reporting line, and have developed the state rat plan. They are also distributing rat information to the commercial fishing industry, coastal communities with ADF&G offices, and to inland communities where rats could be a threat.

Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory ProgramAlaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program has taken the lead on working with harbors and fishermen to prevent the incidence of rats on boats. They have spoken at Harbormaster meetings, distributed rat kits in Dutch Harbor, and are working on a manual for rat prevention aboard ship.

Alaska Maritime National Wildlife RefugeAlaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge is responsible for protecting the seabirds and the ecosystems of the thousands of islands that make up the refuge. Working with others, the refuge focuses on keeping rats from getting ashore through responding to shipwrecks to kill any fleeing rats, and outreach to boat owners and harbors to reduce the number of rats hitch hiking on boats. The refuge sends out the free rat kits, manages the website, and provides advice on rat prevention. The refuge is also developing plans to eradicate rats from refuge islands.

The Aleut Community of St. Paul Island-Tribal Government-Ecosystem Conservation Office (ECO) is responsible for conserving and protecting all life systems on St. Paul Island for the benefit of and continued traditional use by tribal members. ECO manages the rat prevention program on rat-free St. Paul and partners with the City of St. Paul to maintain defenses in the harbor and landfill. At least 6 rats have jumped ship in St. Paul in the last 14 years and been killed in ECO’s trapping program.

Audubon AlaskaAudubon Alaska has identified over 90 Important Bird Areas in the Bering Sea region, most of which are based on globally-significant numbers of breeding seabirds. Audubon Alaska's primary interest is in protecting these magnificent seabird colonies, especially those in the vulnerable Aleutian Islands, from the devastating effects of introduced predators, particularly rats.

Defenders of WildlifeDefenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities.  We focus our programs on what scientists consider two of the most serious environmental threats to the planet: the accelerating rate of extinction of species and the associated loss of biological diversity, and  habitat alteration and destruction.  Long known for our leadership on endangered species issues, Defenders of Wildlife also advocates new approaches to wildlife conservation that will help keep species from becoming endangered.  Our programs encourage protection of entire ecosystems and interconnected habitats while protecting predators that serve as indicator species for ecosystem health.  We support the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's proposed regulatory improvements aimed at stopping the spread of rats and are providing financial support for the maintenance of the stoprats.org website. 

Department of the InteriorThe U.S. Department of the Interior, Alaska Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance provides overall coordination for the Department's oil discharge and hazardous substance release preparedness and response activities in Alaska . This includes taking a leadership role on behalf of the Department, and working with other Federal, State, and non-governmental organization partners, to help ensure that wildlife preparedness and response activities include rat prevention in Alaska.

Island ConservationIsland Conservation is dedicated to preventing species extinctions and protecting and restoring natural processes on islands and in their adjacent waters. IC has removed introduced animals from 26 islands including three island-wide rat eradications. They have participated in field trials of rat eradication techniques on the Maritime Refuge and are assisting the Refuge in developing rat eradication plans for refuge islands.

Marine Conservation AllianceMarine Conservation Alliance’s primary interest is protecting the fishing fleet and fishing industry from rats.


National Marine Fisheries Service co-manages marine mammal populations with Alaska Natives on the rat-free Pribilof Islands. Rat prevention is a major concern as rats pose a significant threat to northern fur seal and Steller sea lion populations on the Pribilofs. Rat borne disease could spread rapidly through the fur seal population. NMFS rat activities include support of ongoing efforts to assess and prevent rat introductions from fishing vessels visiting the Pribilofs.

The Nature ConservancyThe Nature Conservancy’s mission is to preserve the plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy is working on both prevention and eradication. They have partnered with the communities on St. Paul and St. George islands to protect those rat-free islands from invasion. They have also partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Island Conservation to develop a program to remove rats from infested refuge islands.

St. George Kayumixtax maintains the harbor defenses and runs the rat prevention program on rat-free St. George Island. No rats are known to have jumped ship on St. George yet, but on-going vigilance is essential to protect the two million birds nesting on the island as well as the people and fur seals of St. George Island.

Shipping Safety PartnershipShipping Safety Partnership is working to improve shipping safety in the Aleutians and throughout the North Pacific along the Great Circle Route. Rats and the prevention of other biological spills are aspects of the Partnership’s collaborative effort. SSP has helped with rat outreach at marine expos and through their website.

Summit Consulting Services, Inc. is a remote project design and construction management firm specializing in community improvement projects in rural Alaska.  Summit's mission in the Stop Rats program is to assist the team in stopping the spread of rats and eliminate established rats in Alaska to protect the environment, wildlife habitat, and the subsistence lifestyle of Alaska residents.  Summit is distributing kits to all Summit project communities and transportation services involved with their projects and is also purchasing supplies for rat kits.

The StopRats Team wishes to thank the Woodstream Corporation, makers of the Victor mouse and rat traps in the StopRats kits, for their generous donation of supplies. We are pleased to welcome the Woodstream Corporation as a partner in keeping Alaska's islands rat free!

World Wildlife FundWorld Wildlife Fund is working to restore and conserve biodiversity in the Bering Sea and Kamchatka through science-guided education, advocacy and stewardship. WWF has developed the Stop Rats brochure, hosts the website and is particularly active in spreading the word to the Russian side of the Bering Sea. WWF has sent rat prevention experts to the Commander Islands in Russia, translated rat materials into Russian and provided rat kits to Russian vessels.

Defenders of wildlife