Rodents are a problem in agriculture and public health in developing countries because they destroy harvests and carry zoonotic diseases such as plague and leptospirosis. Control of these problems needs an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approach which has hitherto not been given proper attention in rodent control. Such an approach requests a sound biological basis but will result in a more effective and environmentally friendly control strategy.
The project will contribute to the development of IPM strategies by focusing on four different topics, concentrating on the main pest rodent species in Tanzania, the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis : - Description of the population dynamics of these rodents and the importance of habitat heterogeneity and dispersal in it, based on a capture-recapture study, dispersal studies using radiotelemetry and study of recolonization after a successful control action with or without accompanying IPM measures.
- Description of the distribution of leptospirosis and the
involvement of different rodent reservoirs and spirochete serovars in different areas of Tanzania. To this end, a serosurvey of rodents from different regions will be organized and spirochetes
will be isolated and characterized immunologically (serologically and antigenically).
- Development and evaluation of combinations of rodenticides and systemic insecticides to control rodents and fleas simultaneously ln plague affected villages. After palatability and toxicity tests of these combinations in the lab, their applicability will be evaluated in the field.
- Development of integrated pest management strategies for rodent control in Tanzanian smallholder farms using the information about movements and recolonization obtained in the ecological project topic. The project will test the general validity of a recent model to forecast outbreaks of Mastomys rats and develop better field control strategies. It will standardize damage-assessment
techniques to evaluate the efficiency of those strategies.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
2003 Addis Abeba