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Rat Race

Rats have earned their reputation as pests. In addition to spreading disease, their voracious eating habits have contributed to the extinction of more than 75 species worldwide.

Humans are largely responsible for their global spread, but there are efforts underway to undo the harms of the past and protect sensitive ecosystems.

Hosts Elizabeth Friend and Laura Pellicer talk to Mike Cove, research curator of mammals at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, who shines a light on the history of invasive rats. And we meet Naomi Cordiero, a biosecurity dog-handler on the front lines of the battle to keep one of the world’s most remote landscapes rodent-free.

Read the transcript

Elizabeth Friend grew up in North Carolina listening to public radio in the backseat of the family station wagon. She has been reporting and producing at WUNC since 2016, covering everything from Army history to armadillos. She's also the co-founder of the beloved summer event series Audio Under The Stars. In her spare time she enjoys exploring the outside world with her family, dabbling in esoteric crafts, and cheese.
Laura Pellicer is a digital reporter with WUNC’s small but intrepid digital news team.
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