Invasive Rodent in Florida KeysJanay Rickwalder
Monday, June 9, 2014
Since 2007, officials have been trying to eradicate the invasive
Gambian giant rat on
Grassy Key. The rats were most likely originally released on
the island by a resident.
Like all invasive species, these rats have the potential to alter the ecosystem
of Grassy Key as they don't have natural predators to limit their
population. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is attempting to
control the population by setting traps in the area throughout the
This species of rat can grow to 35 inches long and weigh up to
nine pounds. The Florida state Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission is hoping Grassy Key residents will help by reporting
sightings on their property.