Für die Menschen. Für Westfalen-Lippe.

Atlas der Säugetiere Nordrhein-Westfalens

AG Säugetierkunde in NRW

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Brown rat

Rote Liste NRW: u Ungefährdet

Rattus norvegicus




Foto: Jan Ole Kriegs
The Brown Rat has a typical mouse shape with an elongated body and a tail barely the length of the body. The body length can reach more than 25 cm. The dorsal colour is dark brown, and the ventral colour grey. Norway Rats live in larger groups of up to 200 animals. The animals recognize each other by their smell and allow no stranger in their territory. The home range of a single animal can include several hectares. Norway Rats reproduce during the whole year. A single female can reach 50 offspring in five to six litters during a year. The young themselves are reproductively active after three to four months. The Norway Rat is the wild form of the laboratory rat commonly used in medical research, which is also kept as a pet. The original home of the Norway Rat is Asia. From here it was distributed with ships all over the world. The first European records are from the 10th century.
The Norway Rat is distributed area-wide in Central Europe, likewise in NRW. Special distributional concentrations are near human habitations. It is also assumed that in most large cities there live more Norway Rats than humans. Here they settle mostly the canalization and places where garbage is improperly stored. Aside from this, all other habitats are utilized where enough food is available; the Norway Rat is an omnivore. The only limiting factor for the distribution of the species is the year-round availability of water.


Holger Meinig


Meinig H (2023): Wanderratte (Rattus norvegicus).In: AG Säugetierkunde NRW — Online-Atlas of the mammals of North Rhine-Westphalia. Downloaded from saeugeratlas-nrw.lwl.org on 2023/03/27



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