This is a native Australian Swamp Rat! He is in care with one of our volunteers after he was unfortunately attacked by a cat. He was picked up by a member of the public and taken to the Lennox Head Vet Clinic where they treated him for his injuries. He is doing well and once he has finished his antibiotics he will be released.
While this swamp rat was fortunate, dog and cat attacks are sadly a common occurrence for many wildlife species. We have had a significant amount of animals come into care recently for this reason. These include possums, gliders, echidnas and birds. Cat and dog attacks can cause significant damage to the skin, but can also result in severe internal injuries and infection.
Please monitor your pets if they are outside, and call your local wildlife rescue organisation if you have injured wildlife. Our hotline is operated 24 hours, please call 6628 1866.
Did you know?
- We are home to a range of small mammals and rodents, and that includes our own native rodents. We have many across Australia, but within the Northern Rivers you may find our native Water Rat, Bush Rat, Swamp Rat, Pale Field Rat, Grassland Melomy, Fawn Footed Melomy, Eastern Chestnut Mouse and the New Holland Mouse.
- We are of course home to introduced rodent species such as the Black Rat, Brown Rat and House Mouse.
But how do we tell the difference between native and non-native rodents?
- Our native rodents are much happier away from us humans, they are shy and often live in dense forest where they can nest and find shelter in short burrows under logs or rocks. The rodents you see in your house or hear in your roof are most likely one of the introduced species.
- The tail can also help you identify a native from a non-native, however is not completely consistent. Our natives often have a shorter tail in comparison to their body length, but the Brown Rat also shares this feature. The Black Rat has a tail longer than the body.
So what can you do?
- Keep an eye on your pets! Try and keep cats indoors or within a cat run.
- Avoid the use of rodenticides that cause secondary poisoning, while they can incidentally kill native rodents, they can also cause secondary poisoning to our other wildlife species. If you have to use bait use a multi feed brand.
- Try catch and release traps. Not only does this give you the chance to identify the rodent you catch, but allows you to relocate them to a safer environment for them, and away from your home.
- If you do find an injured native rodent, take it to your local vet so it can go into care with a licensed rehabilitator.