ECORAT Science Articles

Mdangi, M., Mulungu, L.S., Massawe, A.W., Eiseb, S., Tutjavi, V., Kirsten, F., Mahlaba, T., Malebane, P., Maltitz, E.V., Monadjem, A., Dlamini, N., Makundi, R.H. and S.R. Belmain (in press) Assessment of rodent damage to stored maize (Zea mays L.) on smallholder farms in Tanzania. International Journal of Pest Management.

Katakweba, A.A.S., Mulungu, L.S., Eiseb, S.J., Mahlaba, T.A., Makundi, R.H., Massawe, A.W., Borremans, B. and Steven R. Belmain (2012). Prevalence of haemoparasites, leptospires and cocobacilli with potential for human infection in the blood of rodents and shrews from selected localities in Tanzania, Namibia and Swaziland. African Zoology. 47(1): 119-127.

Taylor, P.J., Downs, S., Monadjem, A, Eiseb, S.J., Mulungu, L.S., Massawe, A.W., Mahlaba, T.A., Kirsten, F.,  Maltitz von, E., Malebane, P., Makundi, R.H., Lamb, J and Belmain, S.R. (2012) Experimental treatment-control studies of ecologically based rodent management in Africa: balancing conservation and pest management. Wildlife Research. 39(1): 51-61.

Massawe, A.W, Mulungu, L.S, Makundi, R.H, Dlamini, N., Eiseb. S., Kirsten, F., Mahlaba, T., Malebane, P., Maltitz, E. von, , Monadjem. A., Taylor, P., Tutjavi, V., and Steven R. Belmain. (2011) Spatial and temporal population dynamics of rodents in three geographically different regions: Implications for ecologically- based rodent management. African Zoology. 46(2): 393–405.

Mulungu, L.S., Massawe, A.W., Kennis, J., Crauwels, D., Eiseb, S., Mahlaba, T.A., Monadjem, A., Makundi, R.H., Katakweba, A.A.S., Leirs, H. and Belmain, S.R. (2011) Differences in diet between two rodent species of Mastomys natalensis and Gerbilliscus vicinus in fallow land habitats in central Tanzania. African Zoology. 46(2): 387–392.

Mulungu, L.S., Mahlaba, T., Massawe, A., Kennis, J., Crauwels, D., Eiseb, E., Monadjem, A., Makundi, R. Katakweba, A. Leirs, H. and Steven Belmain (2011) Dietary preferences of the multimammate mouse (Mastomys natalensis, Smith 1832) across different habitats and seasons in Tanzania and Swaziland. Wildlife Research. 38(7): 640–646.

Monadjem, A., Mahlaba, T.A., Dlamini, N., Eiseb. S.J., Belmain, S.R., Mulungu, L.S., Massawe, A.W., Makundi. R.H., Mohr, K., Taylor, P.J. (2011). Impact of crop cycle on movement patterns of pest rodent species between fields and houses in Africa. Wildlife Research. 38(7): 603-609.
Bastos, A.D.S., Nair,D., Taylor, P.J., Brettschneider, H., Kirsten, F., Mostert, E., Maltitz, von, E., Lamb, J.M., Hooft, van P., Belmain, S.R., Contrafatto, G., Downs, S. and Chimimba, C.T.. (2011) Genetic monitoring detects an overlooked cryptic species and reveals the diversity and distribution of three invasive Rattus congeners in South Africa. BMC Genetics. 12:26.

Belmain, S.R., Dlamini, N., Eiseb. S., Kirsten, F., Mahlaba, T., Makundi, R., Malebane, P., Maltitz, E. von, Massawe, A., Monadjem. A., Mulungu, L., Siwiya, E., Taylor, P., and Tutjavi, V. (2008) The ECORAT project: developing ecologically-based rodent management for the southern African region. International Pest Control. 50(3):136-138.

Rhodes H. Makundi, Apia W. Massawe, Loth S. Mulungu, Abdul Katakweba. Thomas, J. Mbise and Georgies Mgode (2008) Potential mammalian reservoir in bubonic plague outbreak focus in Mbulu District, northern Tanzania, in 2007. Mammalia. 72(3):253-257.


ECORAT Popular Press Articles

F. Kirsten (2010). Ecorat ends . Plant Protection News. 83: page 10.

P. Taylor (2010). Palmnut Post. page 34.

Taxonomic key to small mammals commonly found in agricultural areas in eastern and southern Africa

S.R. Belmain et al. (2010) Developing pesticide-free rodent control for southern Africa. Pesticides News. 87: 9-11.

E. von Maltitz (2009) Rodent post-harvest and crop field impact assessment trials in Namibia. Plant Protection News. 79:8.

F. Kirsten (2008) Development of Ecologically- based Rodent Management for Southern Africa. Plant Protection News. 78: 10.

E. von Maltitz (2008) Ecorat on Track. Plant Protection News. 77: 12-13.

P. Malebane (2008) Radio Tracking in Swaziland. Plant Protection News. 75: 8-9.

K. Mmushi (2007) New leap to rodent control. AgriNews: official newsletter of the South African Department of Agriculture. March 2007, p 9.

B. Gama (2007). Rat in your food basket. The Swazi Observer, 2 April 2007.

A. Shigwedha (2007) SADC looks at rodent management. The Namibian, 20 March 2007.

Anon. (2007) The Rat-Pack comes to Namibia. Die Republikein, 8 March 2007.

ECORAT poster

Press Release Namibia, February 2007

Press Release South Africa, February 2007

Press Release Swaziland, February 2007

Press Release Tanzania, February 2007

Press Release International, February 2007


ECORAT Project Documents

Adaptive sampling protocol - to possibly use in rodent damage assessment of crops


Further Reading

Animal Planet, Discovery Channel (2011) Swarmchasers: Rats. First broadcast in USA on 13th January 2011. 45 minute documentary film broadcast on Animal Planet which follows Dr Belmain’s research on the 50-year cycle of bamboo flowering, rodent outbreaks and regional famine in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.

Singleton, G.R. Belmain, S.R. and Brown, P.R. (eds.) (2010) Rodent Outbreaks: Ecology and Impacts. International Rice Research Institute Press, Los Banos, Philippines. 289 pages.

Normile D. (2010) Holding back a torrent of rats. Science. 327: 806-807. News article in special section on food security reporting on Dr Belmain’s research.

BBC World Service (2010) Rat Attack Science in Action. November 19th, 2010.

BBC Earth News (2010) Attack of the Rats. November 19th, 2010.

CBCRadio (2010) Falling Flowers Rising Rats. Quirks and Quarks. December 11th, 2010.

Belmain, S.R. (2010) Battling rodents in Bangladesh. Pest. 11: 23-25.

A.W. Massawe, W. Rwamugira, H. Leirs, R.H. Makundi, L.S. Mulungu, V. Ngowo and R. Machang'u (2008) Soil type limits population abundance ofrodents in crop fields: case study of the multimammate rat Mastomys natalensis Smith, 1834 in Tanzania. Integrative Zoology 3: 27-30.

L.S. Mulungu, R.H. Makundi, A.W. Massawe, R.S. Machang'u and N.E. Mbije (2008) Diversity and distribution of rodent and shrew species associated with variations in altitude on Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. Mammalia. 72: 179-185.

A.W. Massawe, F.P. Mrosso, R.H. Makundi and L.S. Mulungu (2007) Breeding patterns of Arvicanthis neumanni in central Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology. 46: 320–324.

R.H. Makundi, A.W. Massawe and L.S. Mulungu (2007) Reproduction and population dynamics of Mastomys natalensis Smith, 1834 in an agricultural landscape in the Western Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Integrative Zoology. 2: 233-238.

L.S. Mulungu, R.H. Makundi, A.W. Massawe and H. Leirs (2007) Relationship between sampling intensity and precision for estimating damage to maize caused by rodents. Integrative Zoology, 2: 131-135.

A.W. Massawe, W. Rwamugira, H. Leirs, R.H. Makundi and L.S. Mulungu (2006) Do farming practices influence population dynamics of rodents? A case study of the multimammate field rats, Mastomys natalensis, in Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology. 45: 293–301.

R.H. Makundi, A.W. Massawe and L.S. Mulungu (2006) Breeding seasonality and population dynamics of three rodent species in the Magamba Forest Reserve, Western Usambara Mountains, north-east Tanzania. African Journal of Ecology, 45, 17–21.

A. Skonhoft, H. Leirs, H.P. Andreassen, L.S.A. Mulungu and N.C. Stenseth (2006) The bioeconomics of controlling an African rodent pest species. Environment and Development Economics, 11: 453–475.

Proceedings of the 9th International African Small Mammal Symposium (ASMS), held at the Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania from 14-18 July 2003. Belgian Journal of Zoology, 135 (supplement): 3, 214 pp.

Aplin, K.A., Brown, P.R., Jacob, J., Krebs, C.J. and Grant R. Singleton (2003). Field methods for rodent studies in Asia and the Indo-Pacific. ACIAR Monograph 100; ACIAR, Canberra, AU. 223 pp. This book is available (in three parts) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, published by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

Singleton, G.R., Hinds, L.A., Krebs, C.J. and Spratt, D.M. (eds.) (2003) Rats, Mice and People: Rodent Biology and Management. This book is available (in four parts) Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 published by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research

A.C. Heiberg (2006) Recommendations for rodent management interventions in the Republic of South Africa. 16 pages. Natural Resources Institute, Chatham UK.

A.C. Heiberg (2006) Recommendations for rodent management interventions in Mozambique. 14 pages. Natural Resources Institute, Chatham UK.

S.R. Belmain (2006) Rats and Human Health in Africa: Proceedings of an international workshop on rodent-borne diseases and the RatZooMan research project. 3-6 May 2006, The Pestana Kruger Lodge, Malelane, Mpumalanga Province, Republic of South Africa. 46 pages. Natural Resources Institute, Chatham UK.

BBC News 24 interview with S.R. Belmain on rising rodent numbers in the UK, recorded live on the 5th January 2007.

BBC World Service. Rats! a two-part programme broadcast within the One Planet series. The second 30 minute programme contains much material derived from the ratzooman project and scientists involved. The programmes were broadcast internationally on two separate occasions, in June 2005 and January 2006. The programmes have been permanently archived on the BBC website and were separately produced on a CD for limited distribution. You can listen to the programmes by clicking on the below links.
Rats! part one: New York
Rats! part two East Africa

BBC World Service radio programme on rodent pests in Mozambique from BBC production “In The Field

Focus on Rodent Management (2002) New Agriculturist

Training video on Managing Rats in Rural Villages of Bangladesh in three parts. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

P. Taylor (2006) Managing urban rats and rodent-borne diseases in a squatter camp - the Cato Crest Model. Palmnut Post, 9(2): 18-20. Durban Natural Science Museum. Durban, South Africa.

P. Taylor (2005) RatZooMan: Durban’s Sharpshooter in the Rat War. Palmnut Post. Vol 8 no. 1. p. 14-16. Durban Natural Science Museum. Durban, South Africa

Public Health and the Ratzooman Project. (2005) RTD info Magazine Special INCO issue page 20. July 2005, 44 pages. European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

A. Bolowana (2004) Durban acts as rat problem grows, solutions to health risks explored. The Mercury February 9, 2004.

Anon. (2006) Disease threats as rodent numbers rise Independent Online News & Media. May 4 2006.

D. Abbot (2006) Rat problem tackled. eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa.

D. Abbot (2005) Eco-friendly Durban is Tops! eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa.

Anon. (2006) Health officials allay fears of rat infection. SABC News, South Africa. January 24 2006.

Anon. (2006) Rising rodent numbers pose serious disease threat. The Mail and Guardian 4 May 2006.


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Natural Resources Institute, UKSokoine University, TanzaniaARC-Plant Protection Research Institute, South AfricaUniversity of SwazilandNational Museum of Namibia Durban Natural Science Museum, South AfricaDurban Natural Science Museum, South Africa