Maintenance, expressed as change in daily body mass, and survival rates of Mastomys natalensis (sensu lato) were recorded from May to September 1994 in laboratory feeding trials, to investigate the short-term effects of a carbaryl insecticide on these variables. Individuals were subjected to seeds treated with carbaryl insecticide in three different treatments (5, 10 and 20 g of carbaryl/kg of seeds). Carbaryl did not have short-term adverse effects on growth and survival of this species when the seeds were kept in the laboratory and when they were exposed to environmental conditions between measurements. This suggests that the ingestion of carbaryl-treated seeds is not the cause of the decline in density of M. natalensis on rehabilitating coastal dune forests at Richards Bay.
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