This research project, supported by the FFEM (the French Facility for Global Environment) and run by the IRD (Research Institute for Development) from 2014 to 2017, provides better understanding of how rodents are spreading in Senegal, with the objective of limiting the associated social and environmental risks. The FFEM financed the project to identify innovative solutions to the problem of invasive rodents, with a goal of deploying those solutions to other similarly-afflicted parts of the world.
Results of the study
June 2020 saw the publication of a new study based on research work carried out as part of the CERISE project. This discusses the possibility of correlation between parasitism and invasions of exotic species. The authors examined the Nigerian gerbil and the grey mouse in Senegal, the numbers of which have been growing for some thirty years. The gerbil infests fields and savannah, while the mouse thrives in towns. The latter benefits from the Senegalese road transport network, which offers easy movement. Both species are considered invasive since they threaten the environment and local predators, at the same time consuming food intended for human consumption. They also increase the likelihood of pathogen transmission from animals to humans.
The CERISE project
The CERISE project, which is co-financed by the FFEM, is tasked with anticipating the risks linked to the proliferation of these rodents by establishing the factors affecting their presence and geographical distribution. Field observations have been used to produce distribution maps and proliferation scenarios. The results of this research have been shared with the inhabitants in various ways: signage, meetings, radio programmes, animated films, plays, etc. Knowing how to recognise the two species, encourage their natural predators, set traps, and protect food stocks all help to limit their spread.