Greater stick-nest rat Facts

Greater stick-nest rat Facts
Greater stick-nest rat, also known as wopilkara, belongs to the group of rodents. It can be found only on the West and East Franklin Islands, near the coast of South Australia. Greater stick-nest rat inhabits semi-arid and arid habitats, scrublands and rocky areas covered with succulent and semi-succulent plants. Number of greater stick-nest rats in the wild is decreasing due to habitat destruction (as a result of overgrazing), drought and intense predation. Greater stick-nest rat is listed as vulnerable, which means that it can become endangered in the near future.
Interesting Greater stick-nest rat Facts:
Greater stick-nest rat can reach 6.7 to 10.2 inches in length and 6.3 to 16 ounces of weight.
Greater stick-nest rat is covered with soft, yellowish-brown or grey fur on the backs and creamy white fur on the belly. Hind feet are covered with white markings.
Greater stick-nest rat has big head, blunt snout, large, black eyes and large, rounded ears. It has compact body and long, hairy-tipped tail.
Greater stick-nest rat is nocturnal animal (active during the night). It rests in the hunched position during the day.
Greater stick-nest rat is herbivore (plant-eater). Its diet is based on fruit, flowers, seed and leaves.
Greater stick-nest rat builds nests that can reach 3.3 feet in height and 4.9 feet in diameter. Nests are made of branches, sticks, bark and stones and lined with grass and other soft material. They consist of one large chamber and numerous exit tunnels. Nests are usually located near the shrubs and their main purpose is to provide protection against predators.
Natural enemies of greater stick-nest rats are dingoes, cats, foxes, black tiger snakes, sand goannas, barn owls and eagles.
Greater stick-nest rats do not build nests if their habitats provide enough hiding places, such as dense shrubs, rocky crevices and abandoned nests of bird.
Name "stick-nest rat" refers to the fact that nests of these animals are mainly built out of the sticks.
Family group, composed of female and her offspring (10 to 20 animals), lives inside large nest. New generations of rats keep the nest stable and durable by adding new materials to the existing construction.
Greater stick-nest rats aggressively protect their nests from intruders.
Mating season of greater stick-nest rats takes place all year round and reaches the peak during the winter and autumn when the food is abundant.
Pregnancy in females lasts 44 days and ends with 1 to 4 babies. Newly born greater stick-nest rats spend first month of their life firmly attached to the teats of their mother.
Greater stick-nest rats are ready for the independent life at the age of 2 months. They are able to produce 2 to 3 litters per year when they reach sexual maturity at the age of 8 months.
Greater stick-nest rat can survive up to 5 years in the wild.

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