The distribution and ecology of the pale field-rat Rattus tunneyi at Edel Land, Shark
The pale field-rat Rattus tunneyi is one of seven species of native Rattus occurring
on the Australian mainland. The species now occurs principally in native tussock
grassland habitats in tropical and sub-tropical Australia, having declined from >
85% of its former range. Historic and sub-fossil records suggests that it once occurred
through much of arid and semi-arid Australia, but it is now largely absent from these
One exception to the species’ widespread decline in arid and semi-arid Australia
is a small remnant population detected at Edel Land on the southern shore of Shark
Bay in Western Australia in the 1960s and 1970s.
WR&M has worked with Murdoch University PhD student Sally O’Neill to establish the
distribution, habitat preferences, and dynamics of the species at Shark Bay.