Some of the most damaging animal pests in New Zealand are the three species of introduced rat:
- Ship rat (Rattus rattus)
- Norway or brown rat (Rattus norvegicus)
- Kiore or Pacific rat (Rattus exulans)
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.
For more information see:
- Rodents (Wikipedia)
- Pest Detective - New Zealand website with helpful information about pest animals and how to detect them.
- Guide to the identification and collection of New Zealand rodents by Duncan Cunningham and P.J. Moors