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They’re all around

June 26, 2022

The Rakali (Hydromys chrysogaster) formerly known as the White-tailed Water Rat is more common than many may think. It is their primarily nocturnal nature and inherent shyness that make them less seen than other fauna. Those who have participated in the Strath Creek Landcare Group’s or Yea Wetlands’ Platypus & Rakali Count will know that sightings of this large rat are more common than the ‘sexier’ platypus.

The natural range of the rakali covers most of eastern Australia (excluding the desert regions) and the south west corner of W.A. They live near permanent bodies of water, both fresh water and salt where they feed on crustaceans such as yabbies, fish, frogs, reptiles and birds eggs. They are also efficient scavengers and are known to come into urban areas in search of food.

In the Yea Wetlands at the moment there is a rakali that seems to ignore all the rules by hunting through the billabongs during daylight hours (pictured above left). An even more startling sighting has been this rakali (pictured above) that regularly frequents a bird feeder in the backyard of a house on High Street.

I have always had a philosophical objection to feeding birds but if a bird feeder attracts rakalis…..

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