MICA - Muskrat occurrences collected by RATO in East Flanders, Belgium

Latest version published by Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) on Nov 13, 2020 Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)

Mica - Rato Muskrat catch in East Flanders, Belgium is an occurrence dataset published by the Research Institute of Nature and Forest (INBO). It is part of the LIFE MICA - Management of Invasive Coypu and muskrAt in Europe project on Muskrat monitoring networks in Flanders, The Netherlands and Germany. This dataset contains Muskrat occurrences in traps. Here it is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each occurrence record an recordID, date, location, sampling protocol, the number of recorded individuals, status (present/absent) and scientific name. Issues with the dataset can be reported at https://github.com/inbo/muskrat-rato-occurrences/issues

We have released this dataset to the public domain under a Creative Commons Zero waiver. We would appreciate it if you follow the INBO norms for data use (https://www.inbo.be/en/norms-data-use) when using the data. If you have any questions regarding this dataset, don't hesitate to contact us via the contact information provided in the metadata or via opendata@inbo.be.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 142 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.

Downloads

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 142 records in English (11 KB) - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (16 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (15 KB)

Versions

The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Van Moer K, Brosens D, Cartuyvels E (2020): MICA - Muskrat occurrences collected by RATO in East Flanders, Belgium. v1.4. Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). Dataset/Occurrence. https://ipt.inbo.be/resource?r=mica-rato-occurrences&v=1.4

Rights

Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO). To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 95b0e787-8508-4247-9e48-18b45fc7d12e.  Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.

Keywords

Occurrence; Observation; animal damage‚ biodiversity‚ public awareness campaign‚ flood protection‚ pest control‚ damage prevention‚ flood control

Contacts

Who created the resource:

Karel Van Moer
researcher
Rattenbestrijding - Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen (RATO) BE
Dimitri Brosens
researcher
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO)/ Belgian Biodiversity Platform BE
Emma Cartuyvels
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) BE

Who can answer questions about the resource:

Karel Van Moer
researcher
Rattenbestrijding - Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen (RATO) BE
Dimitri Brosens
Researcher
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / Belgian Biodiversity Platform BE

Who filled in the metadata:

Dimitri Brosens
Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) / Belgian Biodiversity Platform BE

Geographic Coverage

East Flanders, Belgium

Bounding Coordinates South West [50.69, 3.3], North East [51.38, 4.33]

Taxonomic Coverage

Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus)

Kingdom  Animalia
Phylum  Vertebrata
Class  Mammalia
Order  Rodentia
Family  Cricetidae
Species  Ondatra zibethicus (Muskrat)

Temporal Coverage

Start Date / End Date 2017-12-15 / 2020-08-01

Project Data

Life MICA is an international cooperation with the goal to reduce coypu and muskrat population to a manageable size in order to prevent damage to waterways, biodiversity and plant life. Oypu (Myocastor coypus) and muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) are large semiaquatic rodents of American origin that are now found in a wide range of habitats in wetlands, lowlands and reed areas in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany. Coypu and muskrat populations can be very damaging tow their environment. They feed on roots of bulrush and reeds, can consume up to 1.5 m2 of vegetation per night per animal. Endangered species, such as freshwater pearl mussel (Margaritifera margaritifera), little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) and Eurasian bittern (Botaurus stellaris), suffer from habitat damage and egg destruction. By destroying reed habitats, theseinvasive alien species (IAS) also drastically affect ecosystem services, diminishing the filtering effects of this habitat and its buffering capacity, and by digging into dikes and quays they seriously increase the risk of floods and human health risks. Moreover, the species damage commercial crops, leading to significant losses in yield. Finally, muskrat and coypu can be carriers of various diseases dangerous to human and pet health such as zoonosis. Coypu and muskrat management operations are a core activity of the regional Dutch Water Authority Rivierenland (WSRL), where trapping operations help minimise the muskrat population and prevent coypu from spreading in the Netherlands.

Title MICA
Identifier LIFE18 NAT/NL/001047
Funding Life programme EU
Study Area Description Flanders, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany

The personnel involved in the project:

Point Of Contact
Emma Cartuyvels

Sampling Methods

Before 2000, baits infused with rodenticides were used to control muskrats. These catches were seldom registered as animals could not be recovered. It is therefore likely that reported catches up until this point in time are an underestimation. Since 2000, Flanders has banned the use of rodenticides for muskrat control and the control is performed purely mechanical using various types of traps. These traps will be laid out either at fixed distances close to the regional borders as a passive control mechanism or they will be placed where traces of muskrat presence are reported as active control mechanisms (Verbeylen et al. 2002). These traps are controlled minimally each week but at high densities it is more likely that a trapper will check them each day. The date of an observation is therefore the date that the animal was retrieved from the trap.This is explained in Dwc:samplingEffort Trapping techniques used in Flanders are described in the best practice of Stuyck (2016). Conibeartraps, fishtraps and baittraps are used for this dataset. RATO vzw carries out active control on the public areas in East Flanders. The trapper searches along the public waterways, street canals, container parks... to find traces of muskrats and brown rats. The transitions of closed to open sewer are extra guarded.

Study Extent Muskrats were introduced in 1928 in Belgium as a fur animal. As early as 1938, its eradication was ordered, making the muskrat control program one of the longest standing control programs for any organism in Belgium. Since then, there have been many different actors and control methods, and today the control is still spread over several management actors and public authorities. In 1991 control was organized at the municipal level, many of whom hired private firms to control muskrats (Stuyck 2002). Catches, bait use, effort and bycatches (most of the time) were submitted monthly to Landelijke Waterdienst /AMINAL - afdeling Water by mail. Muskrat control in Flanders was regionalized and strongly professionalized at the end of the 1990s. For-profit trapping and the fur trade of muskrats was banned. The Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) became responsible for controlling muskrats on all streams under Flemish regional jurisdiction. They are complemented by other management actors, such as provincial and municipal trappers, Rattenbestrijding Oost-Vlaanderen (RATO vzw) and Polders and Wateringen (vvpw).
Quality Control see step description

Method step description:

  1. Source data are submitted by the different management actors on either a monthly or yearly basis. Initially these submission where done by mailing the monthly numbers which were then digitized in Excel spreadsheet. Since the early 2000s all management actors have switched to submitting their catches in Excel spreadsheets.
  2. A csv export of the master Excel spreadsheet was uploaded to a GitHub repository (https://github.com/inbo/muskrat-occurrences).
  3. We developed a Rmarkdown script to document and perform the transformation of the data to Darwin Core, which includes the following steps:
  4. Perform some basic data cleaning of the raw data.
  5. Create an occurrence core file (http://rs.gbif.org/core/dwc_occurrence_2015-07-02.xml) for presence-only and all data.
  6. The Darwin Core data file is uploaded to the INBO IPT and documented with metadata.
  7. The dataset is published and registered with GBIF.

Additional Metadata

Purpose Muskrat catch data are collected by the Research Institute for Nature and Forest (INBO) to monitor muskrat populations and the efficiency of their management in Flanders. Management has been going since 1938 and although some data collection happened before 1991 (e.g. Geeraerts-Bracops 1974) it is only from this point forward that all catches were collected systematically per month and per municipality. Since management was and is spread over different management actors (the Flanders Environment Agency (VMM), Rattenbestrijding Oost-Vlaanderen (RATO vzw), Polders and Wateringen (vvpw), and provincial and municipal trappers) data needed to be integrated to get a full view of the status of muskrat populations in Flanders and their management. More recently this dataset has also been used to report (Adriaens et al. 2019) on the management of Invasive Alien Species of Union Concern (Regulation (EU) 1143/2014).
Alternative Identifiers 95b0e787-8508-4247-9e48-18b45fc7d12e
https://ipt.inbo.be/resource?r=mica-rato-occurrences