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Golden-backed Tree-rat...

I've been reading about Golden-backed Tree-rats since I arrived in the Kimberley in 2013. So excited to finally see one in real life. They are BIG - almost like a medium-sized rabbit. This little guy was foraging on the ground when I walked by. You can see in the first photo he has a mouthful of green fruit. Golden-backed tree-rats used to be common across the Kimberley. Places like the Mitchell Plateau - or Ngauwudu - are now a refuge for them, as well as Golden Bandicoots, Monjons, Scaly-tailed possums and Black Grasswrens. You'll notice in the second photo the distinctive golden back and bushy white tail.

According to the AWC... the Golden-back Tree-rat is presumed extinct from most of its former range across northern Australia, it now only occurs in the remote northwest near-coastal section of the Kimberley region in Western Australia. Golden-backed Tree-rats were once so common in Broome that the rodent was considered a pest by residents. A large rodent, Golden-backed Tree-rats are typically 18 – 34 cm in body length with a 29 – 36 cm long tail, and weigh 200 – 330 grams, making them highly vulnerable to predation by feral cats.


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