Sewer Rat

Sewer Rat

Rattus norvegicus

Identification:

Body length 240 mm; tail length 200 mm; weight 300 g. Shaggy fur; colour varies from black to white, but is generally brown on back and dirty white on belly; thick tail. Small ears when pulled forward, ear just reaches eye:

Habitat and Range:

Human habitation, in particular wharves, warehouses, tunnels, drains and sewers. Common. Port cities Australia-wide. Native to China, but now found in North America, NZ, Pacific and Indian Ocean islands, and the West Indies.

Notes:

Nocturnal. Non-climbing, digs burrows. Feeds chiefly on meat (insects, prawns, birds, eggs, mice) and scraps. Wary and difficult to trap; unpleasant disposition. Similar to Ship Rat.

Threats:

None sufficiently effective to exterminate it.

Traces:

Trackways along creeks, riverbanks and in vegetation near rubbish tips and sewerage depots. Large droppings, pointed at one end (16 mm long by 5 mm wide).

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