Jump to Main Content
A first view of the unseen: nests of an endangered Atlantic Forest rat species
- Bovendorp, Ricardo S., Laskowski, Jessica A., Percequillo, Alexandre R.
- Mammalia 2017 v.81 no.2 pp. 203-206
- deforestation, forests, habitats, litter size, monogamy, nests, population dynamics, rats, small mammals, trees, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay
- For the first time, we observed and photographed nests of the elusive and endangered Russet rice rat, Euryoryzomys russatus. Sensitive to deforestation, the Russet rice rat is restricted to areas of contiguous Atlantic Forest in Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. All five nests that we found were located at the base of endangered tree species, suggesting that loss of nesting habitat in deforested areas might contribute to population declines. We also observed litter size, antagonistic behavior and behavior suggestive of monogamy, rare in small mammals. Our discoveries open new questions about Russet rice rat ecology; questions that will likely help us to better understand why they’re more sensitive to deforestation than other closely related species.