Editorial: Stump!, Format: Tshirt, Year: 2015, Country: Chile, Process: Inkjet, Edition: 50, 100% Organic Cotton
When introduced into locations where rats previously did not exist they can cause an enormous amount of environmental degradation. Rattus rattus, the black rat, is considered to be one of the world's worst invasive species. Also known as the ship rat, it has been carried worldwide as a stowaway on sea-going vessels for millennia and has usually accompanied men to any new area visited or settled by human beings by sea. The similar but less aggressive species Rattus norvegicus, the brown rat or wharf rat, has also been carried worldwide by ships in recent centuries. The ship or wharf rat has contributed to the extinction of many species of wildlife including birds, small mammals, reptiles, invertebrates, and plants, especially on islands. True rats are omnivorous and capable of eating a wide range of plant and animal foods. True rats have a very high birth rate. When introduced to a new area, they quickly reproduce to take advantage of the new food supply. In particular, they prey on the eggs and young of forest birds, which on isolated islands often have no other predators and thus have no fear of predators. Some experts believe that rats are to blame for between 40 percent and 60 percent of all seabird and reptile extinctions, with 90 percent of those occurring on islands. Thus man has indirectly caused the extinction of many species by accidentally introducing rats to new areas.