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"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist

From issue:   Issue:   British Wildlife 34.3 December 2022

Invasions, plagues and conservation – the history of Ship Rats in Britain and Ireland

By - Stephen Harris

Ship, or Black, Rats are one of the world’s most invasive and ecologically damaging mammals, and were once common in some British docks and cities. Stephen Harris delves into the history of Ship Rats in Britain and Ireland, describing how they arrived here, their association with plague, and eradication efforts to remove them from islands home to breeding seabirds.

In my final year at Bristol University, I had to mount an exhibition. The only guidance was that it had to include practical and written components. I chose the history of Ship (Black) Rats Rattus rattus, and Bristol City Council agreed to let me have the bodies of any rats they caught so that I could prepare specimens of the different colour varieties (Table 1).

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"British Wildlife is the pulsating heart of the UK nature conservation movement."

Matthew Oates, National Trust

"The most important and informative publication on wildlife of our times"

Michael McCarthy, The Independent

"Packed with readable, thoughtful, up to date articles; written by ecologists and naturalists for ecologists and naturalists"

Nick Baker, Presenter and Naturalist