Spool‐and‐line tracking of giant rats in New Guinea

A. J. Berry, T. J.C. Anderson, J. N. Amos, J. M. Cook

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Scopus citations


    We present movement data for a species of New Guinea “giant rat”, Mallomys rothschildi, as a test of the efficacy of a recently developed method of spool‐and‐line tracking in short‐term ecological/behavioural studies. We demonstrate that M. rothschildi is scansorial, feeds on shoots of Pandanus spp., and ranges freely over large areas without apparently being constrained by a fixed “home” nest. Another species, Hyomys golialh, occurs sympatrically and is superficially virtually indistinguishable from M. rolhschildi. Data from the single individual tracked suggest that the two species are ecologically segregated on the basis of clear behavioural differences. We note the considerable advantages of spool‐and‐line tracking over radio tracking in this type of study.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)299-303
    Number of pages5
    JournalJournal of Zoology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Oct 1987

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
    • Animal Science and Zoology


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