Threats: Cat and fox predation, rodenticide, habitat loss
Will they visit?: Bush rats will visit home gardens located near local reserves, parks, or bushland
Natural Distribution: Widespread and common throughout the South West and Perth region.
Bush Rat – (CC) Russell Best. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia License (Atlas of Living Australia)
Bush Rat – (CC) Brett Vercoe. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia License (Atlas of Living Australia)
Habitat at a Glance
See Habitat Guide for more detail
Shelter: Burrows, hollow logs, or constructed small mammal nest boxes
Diet: Seeds, fruits, flowers, and foliage
Water: Shallow water dish
ReWild Benefit: Moving seeds around the landscape
Habitat Guide - Shelter
These medium sized rodents will exploit an array of habitats. They enjoy large trees and an array of dense shrubs to shelter in and forage for food. Hollow logs and rocks around your wildlife garden could provide a bush rat with much needed shelter.
A small mammal nest box low to the ground can provide small mammals with shelter and protection from predators. Hide the box well with dense shrubbery, leaflitter, and rockeries. This will hide the box from resident dogs and cats. Before you build:
Nest-boxes are a long-term commitment and need maintenance and repair over time.
Chipboard is okay, but degrade after a year of use. Untreated hardier woods (i.e. Jarrah) are less prone to attack by fungi, bacteria, and microorganisms.
Keep away from treated timber as this can emit fumes toxic to wildlife and their young.
Avoid using metal wire inside a box. A wooden ladder on the inside of the nest-box is much more suitable or grooved timber will work well.
Maintenance is key to keeping wildlife safe. Last thing you want is a side panel falling off with an animal or its young still living inside.
Habitat Guide - Food and Water
Providing natural sources of food
Native Bush-Rats love to eat seeds, fruits, flowers and foliage. Plant a variety of native grasses next to tall shrubs and trees for a great wildlife garden to provide food, shelter and protection, nesting material and nest sites. Your wildlife garden will provide plenty of natural food soon enough.
Providing sources of water
A shallow water dish will provide ample drinking water. Put rocks and large sticks in and around the water dish to enable the mice to escape if they fall in.
Bush Rats keep our biodiversity turning as they often disperse pollen, seeds, and are food for predatory wildlife. Bush Rats are unique to Australia and like many native rodents, they face threats including habitat fragmentation, altered fire regimes, competition from introduced rodents, and predation from cats and foxes. If you see a Bush Rat, you can record your sighting on Atlas of Living Australia!