Swarms of rats migrate across Australia

April 7, 2011AUSTRALIA – A mass migration of rats is under way into the inland deserts of Australia after a run of high rainfall seasons, scientists say. The native long-haired rat, or Rattus villosissimus, normally lives in the Barkly Tableland of the Northern Territory and in western Queensland. But now it has been spotted in Alice Springs for the first time in 25 years. Peter McDonald, acting scientist with Northern Territory Biodiversity Conservation, said the phenomenon was a “huge event” which he attributed to a run of consecutive good, high rainfall seasons.  “It is unusual in the rodent world but Rattus villosissimus are unique in that way and they are pretty famous for their eruptions,” he added. “Probably the only similar expansion by a rodent is seen in the lemmings in the northern hemisphere with their irruptions. There is nothing else in Australia which irrupts over such a large area.” Alice Springs generally has no rats because of its arid climate. The long-haired rodent was first sighted around the middle of last year on the edge of the Simpson Desert, south-east of the town, Mr McDonald said. Its ability to produce 12 babies every three weeks gives it the highest reproductive potential of any rodent in Australia, he noted. -BBC
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This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Extreme Weather Event, Food chain unraveling, Pest Explosions, Ususual animal behavior for disaster. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Swarms of rats migrate across Australia

  1. Pagan says:

    I lived in beautiful Central Australia for many years. Never saw a rat or flea there in my life. The whole climate there has changed drastically though, it used to be completely arid – hot and dry with winter rains. Now it’s almost sub tropical with floods, summer storms and the northern monsoons drifting further south each year.

  2. Bruce Neil says:

    600 km north of Adelaide we have had a plague of mice
    after the higher than usual rainfall in and around Lake Frome S.A.
    but as yet I have not personally sighted any native rats.
    However I have seen what appears to be the odd rat dropping.

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