Ship rat feeding on fruit of the native vine kiekie (Freycinetia banksii). Photo: David Mudge (Courtesy of Nga Manu Images)

Some of the most damaging animal pests in New Zealand are the three species of introduced rat:

The ship rat is a good climber. It eats small animals, eggs, young birds and a wide range of native fruits, and other plant material. Norway rats do not climb trees but frequent water courses where they feed on ground-nesting birds and their young, and on other ground-dwelling animals such as lizards. Kiore eat a wide range of foods, including seeds, fruits, lizards, insects, eggs and chicks.

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This page last updated on 8 Nov 2012