Polynesian Rat

Polynesian Rat

Pacific rat, Little rat, Kiore

Kingdom
Phylum
Subphylum
Class
Order
Superfamily
Family
Genus
SPECIES
Rattus exulans
Population size
Unknown
Life Span
12-15 mos
WEIGHT
40-80 g
LENGTH
up to 15 cm

The Polynesian rat is the third most widespread species of rat in the world behind the Brown rat and Black rat. Polynesian rats have large, round ears, a pointed snout, black/brown hair with a lighter belly, and comparatively small feet. They have thin, long bodies. Polynesian rats are commonly distinguished by a dark upper edge of the hind foot near the ankle. The rest of the foot is pale.

Distibution

Polynesian rats are widespread throughout the Pacific and Southeast Asia. Thye inhabit many environments, from grasslands to forests and may be found in agricultural areas.

Polynesian Rat habitat map

Climate zones

Habits and Lifestyle

Polynesian rats are social creatures. They are nocturnal like most rodents, and are adept climbers, often nesting in trees. When foraging Polynesian rats have been observed to often take pieces of food back to a safe place to properly shell a seed or otherwise prepare certain foods. This not only protects them from predators, but also from rain and other rats. These "husking stations" are often found among trees, near the roots, in fissures of the trunk, and even in the top branches.

Seasonal behavior

Diet and Nutrition

These rats are omnivorous. They feed on seeds, fruit, leaves, bark, insects, earthworms, spiders, lizards, and avian eggs and hatchlings.

Mating Habits

REPRODUCTION SEASON
spring-summer
PREGNANCY DURATION
21-24 days
BABY CARRYING
4 pups
INDEPENDENT AGE
28 days
FEMALE NAME
doe
MALE NAME
buck
BABY NAME
pup, pinkie, kit

Little information is available about the mating system in Polynesian rats. They breed in spring and summer. Females give birth to 4 litters per year with and an average of 4 young per litter. The gestation period lasts 21-24 days and weaning takes around another month at 28 days. Young become reproductively mature at 8-12 months of age.

Population

Population threats

There are no major threats to Polynesian rats at present.

Population number

The IUCN Red List and other sources do not provide the Polynesian rat total population size, but this animal is common and widespread throughout its known range. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.

References

1. Polynesian Rat on Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polynesian_rat
2. Polynesian Rat on The IUCN Red List site - https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/19330/115146549

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