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Pale Field Rat...

Pale Field Rat (Rattus tunneyi).

It was once a widespread species found in dense vegetation along creeks. The pale field rat is nocturnal, sheltering in extensive shallow burrows during the day. Pale field- rats form loose colonies. Food consists of roots, grass stems and seeds. Breeding occurs during the dry season. Litter size is 2-11, although usually four, and several litters may be raised in a year. The pale field-rat is one of a suite of mammal species that have considerably declined across the Top End of the NT over the past ten years, with no clear explanation. On-going monitoring in three national parks have recorded significant declines of pale field rat, including Kakadu National Park a former stronghold for the species. This species qualifies as Vulnerable in the NT. No single factor has been demonstrated to have caused the decline of pale field-rat. The current Territory wide decline is probably due to ongoing inappropriate fire regimes (too frequent) affecting habitat suitability, and predation by feral cats.~


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