Studies of habitat suitability (HS) are essential when animals' habitats have been altered or when animals migrate to a habitat different from their natural habitat. This study assessed HS and used an integrated geographic information system in the assessment of Rattus norvegicus in a highly developed urban environment. Using data from the Campbell market and the police quarters of George Town, Malaysia, home range (through the use of 100% Minimum Convex Polygon [MCP], 95% MCP and 95% Harmonic Mean [HM]) was estimated. Home range for male rats at Campbell market reached an asymptote, with a slight increase, at 96 radio fixes (home range = 133.52 m(2); core area = 29.39 m(2)). Female rats reached an asymptote at 62 radio fixes (home range = 13.38 m(2); core area = 9.17 m(2)). At Campbell market, male rats emerged at 1900 hours every day, whereas females emerged at 2000 hours; at police quarters, the most common time of emergence for males was 2000 hours and for females was 2200. Raster charts of R. norvegicus showed that rat hot spots can be grouped into 4 zones (market, shop houses, settlement and general places). The standardised raster chart isolated the market as the major rallying points of the rats (hot spots) by producing the highest rats frequencies of 255. All of the habitat suitability thresholds, including the built-up points, skip bins, water source and nature of the site explored in this study, produced a structural pattern (monotonic increase or decrease) of habitat suitability.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.