E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Rattus norvegicus (Berkenhout, 1769)
Brown Rat; Norway Rat; Wharf Rat
Family: Muridae
Photo of species

© Public Domain  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #22838)

E-Fauna BC Static Map
Distribution of Rattus norvegicus in British Columbia
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Norway Rats are one of two species of rats in British Columbia. They are usually brown or dark grey in colour, with lighter grey or brown underparts. The ears are smaller than in BC's other rat species, the Black Rat. The tail of the Black Rat is longer than its total body length, while the tail of the Norway Rat is shorter than the total body length (Rattus rattus), and this can help distinguish them.

Historical Note:

Carl and Guiget (1958) provide insight into this species arrival in BC: "The Norway Rat apparently arrived in British Columbia very early, probably with the first [sailing ships]. The Norway Rat is well established throughout the coastal sections and just about everywhere." Nagorsen (2005) indicates that although it was common in Vancouver by the 1880's, it did not arrive in the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii) until 1980.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
ExoticSNAExoticNot Listed
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Range and Status Information Links

Additional Photo Sources

Species References

Carl, G. Clifford and C. J. Guiguet. 1958. Alien Animals in British Columbia. British Columbia Provincial Museum, Department of Education, Handbook No. 14. Victoria, BC.

Nagorsen, David W. 2005. Rodents and Lagomorphs of British Columbia. Royal BC Museum Handbook. Royal BC Museum, Victoria.

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2022-08-09 10:44:33 AM]
Disclaimer: The information contained in an E-Fauna BC atlas pages is derived from expert sources as cited (with permission) in each section. This information is scientifically based.  E-Fauna BC also acts as a portal to other sites via deep links.  As always, users should refer to the original sources for complete information.  E-Fauna BC is not responsible for the accuracy or completeness of the original information.

© E-Fauna BC 2021: An initiative of the Spatial Data Lab, Department of Geography, UBC