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ERIC Number: EJ941303
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-0021-8855
Using Trained Pouched Rats to Detect Land Mines: Another Victory for Operant Conditioning
Poling, Alan; Weetjens, Bart; Cox, Christophe; Beyene, Negussie W.; Bach, Harvard; Sully, Andrew
Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, v44 n2 p351-355 Sum 2011
We used giant African pouched rats ("Cricetomys gambianus") as land mine-detection animals in Mozambique because they have an excellent sense of smell, weigh too little to activate mines, and are native to sub-Saharan Africa, and therefore are resistant to local parasites and diseases. In 2009 the rats searched 93,400 m[superscript 2] of land, finding 41 mines and 54 other explosive devices. Humans with metal detectors found no additional mines. On average, the rats emitted 0.33 false alarm for every 100 m[superscript 2] searched, which is below the threshold given by International Mine Action Standards for accrediting mine-detection animals. These findings indicate that "Cricetomys" are accurate mine-detection animals and merit continued use in this capacity
Society for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior. Available from: Department of Applied Behavioral Science. Kansas University, 1000 Sunnyside Avenue, Lawrence, KS 66045-2133. Tel: 785-841-4425; Fax: 785-841-4425; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mozambique