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 is working with Murdoch University PhD student Sally O’Neill to establish the
distribution, habitat preferences, and dynamics of the species at Shark Bay.
Short, J., O'Neill, S., and Richards, J.D. (2018). Irruption and collapse of a population
of pale field-rat Rattus tunneyi at Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay, Western Australia.
Australian Mammalogy40, 36-46.