Rats are Bad News for People and Wildlife

On ships, boats, planes, barges and trucks, rats have spread over much of the world. With them come disease, economic harm and wildlife destruction. We don’t want this to happen in Alaska! Much of Alaska remains rat free, one of the last such places on earth. Our climate and remoteness won’t keep Alaska and its wildlife safe forever. As travel, development and shipping increase, so to does the risk of spreading rats. Learn more about rat identification and impacts in Alaska.

Rats Could Get on Your Boat

Ever tie up at Dutch, Kodiak, Ketchikan, or Seattle? These ports and many others have rats. Without you even knowing it, rats could have boarded your boat by scurrying up a line or jumping from the dock or another boat. Or you could have craned aboard a rats nest when you loaded cargo, trawl nets or pots. These stowaways can harm you, your boat and Alaska’s wildlife. Don’t let your boat be the one that accidentally unleashes this plague on our wildlife paradise or a rat-free town. Review the Rats on Boats page to find out more about how to protect your boat.

Rats Could Invade Your Town

Check our map above to see if your town is still considered rat-free. Rats rule the roost in most of the big towns of Southeast Alaska, invading houses, nesting in drawers, traveling in sewers and taking over abandoned buildings. If you think living with rats is no big deal, just talk to someone who lives in Unalaska, Juneau or Ketchikan. However, many Alaskan villages are still rat-free, and Anchorage remains the largest rat free port in the country. Harbors, moving vans, containers, barges and even planes could be ways rats could reach your town. Review the Rats in Town page to learn more about how to protect your town.

Rats are a Wildlife Scourge

Rats have eliminated bird species from islands throughout the world. They are voracious predators on eggs, chicks and even adult birds as large as albatrosses. We have incredible resources at risk here in Alaska, more than 40 million breeding seabirds, about half of all seabirds in North America. Most of these birds nest on islands within the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge. But these nesting havens are only one shipwreck away from destruction. Rat spills can be far worse than oil spills. Oil degrades over time while rats multiply, and multiply, . . . and multiply! Learn more about Alaska’s wildlife at risk and what you can do.