Tuesday, September 12, 2017

by J.E. Rogers

Most of us don’t like the idea of rats, but rats in trees raises that dislike to a new level. This week we’ll meet a rat that is mainly arboreal. Yes, there are rats in the trees in Australia. When you think about it, that makes sense. Everything in Australia is different. And that’s an understatement.

A few weeks ago, I saw an article about this creature and I decided that he needed top billing. So, this week we’ll learn a bit about him. He’s called the Black-Footed Tree Rat.

Photo credit: australianwildlife.org

The Black-Footed Tree Rat lives in the northern regions of Australia.

Image credit: nt.gov.au

It is a member of the murid family which includes all species of rats, mice, and voles. In fact, it is one of the largest members of the murid family.

Image credit: Wikipedia

It has a course grayish/brown coat with a white underbelly and a long black and white tail. And, of course, it has black feet. It is a folivore, which means its diet consists mainly of leaves, but it will eat fruit and an occasional termite.

It is considered ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN*.

This nocturnal and solitary rat has made the news recently because, after three decades of being absent from the Kimberley area of Australia, it has been rediscovered there. They live in tree hollows, and although wildlife experts are aware of the decrease in their population, they have been unable to pinpoint the main cause. However, deforestation and predation by feral cats are having an effect, but to what degree is unknown. There is ongoing research to determine the optimum manner in which to proceed to ensure their survival in the wild.

You can read more about the re-discovery of the Black-Footed Tree Rat here:

If you would like to learn more about this very unusual animal, visit the following sites:

Photo credit: Hugh Davies

Thanks for stopping by and visiting. I hope you’ll be by again.


Jeanne E. Rogers, Award Winning Author
The Sword of Demelza, The Gift of Sunderland,
One Hot Mess, A Child’s Environmental Fable,
and my newly published book, Kohana, A Native American Creation Myth. Visit http://kohanawolf.com to learn more about this marvelous myth and how the wolf became man’s best friend.

To learn more about me, visit my ‘author page’ on Amazon: http://bit.ly/authorJERogers

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