Alberta has no rats!

By Razib Khan | October 29, 2009 2:11 am

There’s something cool about Canada, I just found out that Alberta is the only large region of permanently inhabited human territory which lacks brown rats. One thing you have to remember is that the brown rat only began spreading within the last 1,000 years (in the process displacing the black rat), and it seems to have arrived in the British Isles only within the last two to three centuries. North America did not have the rat until Europeans arrived, and it didn’t show up in Alberta until 1950. At that point the government attempted an eradication program. Apparently this can work because there aren’t ecologically congenial corridors for the rats to constantly reappear through migration.


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This blog is about evolution, genetics, genomics and their interstices. Please beware that comments are aggressively moderated. Uncivil or churlish comments will likely get you banned immediately, so make any contribution count!

About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at


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