MICA - Muskrat occurrences collected by VMM in Flanders, Belgium is an occurrence dataset published by the Flanders Environment Agency (VMM). It is part of the LIFE project MICA, in which innovative techniques are tested for a more efficient control of muskrat and coypu populations, both invasive species. This dataset contains mainly muskrat and brown rat catches. Here it is published as a standardized Darwin Core Archive and includes for each occurrence record an occurrenceID, 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/mica-occurrences/issues
We have released this dataset under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This dataset was published for the MICA project, which received funding from the European Union’s LIFE Environment sub-programme under the grant agreement LIFE18 NAT/NL/001047.
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 5,703 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.
The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.
How to cite
Researchers should cite this work as follows:
Slootmaekers D, Brosens D, Cartuyvels E, Desmet P (2022): MICA - Muskrat occurrences collected by VMM in Flanders, Belgium. v1.3. Flanders Environment Agency (VMM). Dataset/Occurrence. https://doi.org/10.15468/gwzwk4
Researchers should respect the following rights statement:
The publisher and rights holder of this work is Flanders Environment Agency (VMM). 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.
This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: 3634aee3-41d5-4aa2-8cb5-875859f62a3a. Flanders Environment Agency (VMM) publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by Belgian Biodiversity Platform.
Occurrence; Observation; flood protection‚ flood control; damage prevention; animal damage; pest control‚ invasive alien species; muskrat; public awareness campaign
- Metadata Provider ●
- Originator ●
- Point Of Contact
|South West [50.67, 2.53], North East [51.51, 5.94]
The target species for this dataset are Ondatra zibethicus and Rattus norvegicus.
|Ondatra zibethicus (muskrat), Rattus norvegicus (brown rat)
|Start Date / End Date
|2019-01-03 / 2020-12-24
Invasive alien species such as the coypu and muskrat pose a major threat to biodiversity and cost millions of euros annually. By feeding on rushes and reeds, these animals cause serious damage to the environment in which they live and endangered species suffer from habitat loss. The disappearance of reeds and digging in dikes represents a safety risk for humans in the lowland areas. With the LIFE project MICA (https://lifemica.eu/), the partners from the participating countries want to develop a transnational plan for the management of coypu and muskrat populations in Europe and aim to reduce their population. The objective of an effective population control of coypu and muskrat is to protect lowlands from flooding, to prevent crop damage and loss of biodiversity. The objective of the project is to serve as a pilot and demonstration project in which ‘best practices’ are tested and new techniques are developed for a more efficient control of muskrat and coypu populations. By involving organisations from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, the project also promotes international cooperation and knowledge exchange in the field of muskrat and coypu management.
|MICA - Management of Invasive Coypu and muskrAt in Europe
|Study Area Description
|Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany
The personnel involved in the project:
Trappers of the VMM will prospect all streams and water bodies at least twice every year for signs of muskrat or coypu activity. Regions with higher population densities are prospected more frequently. Upon detection of either species, traps are deployed according to the management protocol for muskrat in Flanders (beheerregeling muskusrat in Vlaanderen). Every trapping site is registered by the trapper through the use of a mobile gps application. Per trapping site the trapper will deploy one or multiple traps, all of which are registered in the application. The traps are checked frequently, preferably daily. Both catches and bycatches are registered for each individual visit to a trapping site. As soon as all muskrats/coypu have been caught at a location or whenever no new signs of rat activity are noticed, the trapper will remove the traps.
|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).
|Data are collected using a predefined sampling protocol.
Method step description:
- Data are collected in the field by specialized trappers, using the predefined sampling protocol.
- An R script script is created to map the original data to Darwin Core.
- The resulting Darwin Core data files are uploaded to the INBO IPT and documented with metadata.
- The dataset is published and registered with GBIF.
- Stuyck J (2002) De muskusrat (Ondatra zibethicus) en de bruine rat (Rattus norvegicus) in Vlaanderen: mechanische versus chemische bestrijding = The muskrat (ondatra zibethicus) and brown rat (rattus norvegicus) in flanders: mechanical versus chemical control techniques. Lutra (Leiden), 45, 105-122.