Polynesian rat

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Original source: Polynesian rat (Rattus exulans)
Author: Cliff from Arlington, VA, USA

Polynesian rat

Order : Rodentia
Suborder : Sciurognathi
Family : Muridae
Subfamily : Murinae
Species : Rattus exulans


Keywords: brown , black

The Polynesian rat is listed as Least Concern (LR/lc), lowest risk. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category, on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species

Namings for the Polynesian rat
A young / baby of a Polynesian rat is called a 'kitten, nestling, pinkie or pup'. The females are called 'doe' and males 'buck'. A Polynesian rat group is called a 'colony, horde, pack, plague or swarm'.

Facts about the Polynesian rat

In Fijian studies in which rats are captured in urban environments, Rattus exulans is not commonly seen.

Pacific rat Rattus exulans is present on both islands but has little effect.

Polynesian Rat is a 'pest' (an unwanted organism) that can be controlled through the use of pesticides.

Polynesian Rats are known to prey upon the nestlings and eggs of the Laysan Albatross (Diomedea immutabilis), Black-footed Albatross (Diomedea nigripes), Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), Bonin Island Petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca), Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda), Masked Booby (Sula dactylatra), Brown Booby (Sula leucogaster), Red-footed

Polynesian rats are omnivorous, eating insects, centipedes, spiders, worms, snails, fruit, seeds, leaves and roots.

Rattus exulans is unable to store fats; hence, it survives only in areas with a continuous food supply.

The Polynesian Rat (Rattus exulans) is the only mammal, and the Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) is the only reptile.

The Polynesian rat is known as the Kiore in New Zealand, where it is an important cultural animal to the Maori people.

References : M1, M2 The Polynesian Rat is a (Full text)

Kure, infrequently visited by biologists in the past, is the only island in the world where Laysan Albatrosses and Polynesian rats are sympatric. (Full text)

Cats and Polynesian rats are present on Starbuck, the forner in large numbers. (Full text)

The Polynesian Rat is similar in appearance to the Black Rat, but smaller, averaging around 12cm in body-length with a 13cm tail. (Wiki)

Threats Predation by Pacific rat Rattus exulans is believed to be the main cause of chick mortality on Henderson, though predation by crabs Coenobita spp. (Full text)

Taxonomic name: Rattus exulans (Peale 1848)Synonyms: Mus exulans Peale, 1848, Mus maorium Hutton, 1877, 1879Common names: kiore (Maori), Kleine Pazifikratte (German), Maori rat (English), Pacific rat (English), Polynesian rat (English), tikus Polynesia (Indonesia)Life form: mammalRattus exulans is the smallest of the three rats closely associated with humans. (Full text)

Rattus exulans is an agile climber. (Full text)

A third rat species, the Polynesian rat, is present in the Hawaiian Islands but not on the mainland. (Full text)

Rattus exulans is the smallest of the three rats (Rattus rattus, R. (Full text)

Polynesian rats are found in the Tokelau Islands and these probably contribute to the relatively low density (1 per 10 m2) of land crabs (Yaldwyn and Wodzicki 1979). (Full text)

Polynesian rats are present on most islands but can co-exist with most seabird species, unlike the ship rats introduced to Tabueran Atoll in the early 1920’s and probably responsible for the extirpation of Bokikokiko and the decline of Kuhl’s Lorikeet there (Watling 1995). (Full text)

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