The black rat (Rattus rattus) has been shown to be the primary species responsible for causing significant crop losses within the Australian macadamia industry. This species success within macadamia orchards is directly related to the flexibility expressed in its foraging behaviour. In this paper a conceptual foraging model is presented which proposes that the utilisation of resources by rodents within various components of the system is related not only to their relative abundance, but also to predator avoidance behaviour. Nut removal from high predation risk habitats during periods of low resource abundance in low risk compartments of the system is considered an essential behaviour that allows high rodent densities to be maintained throughout the year
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