The Pack Rat or bushy tailed woodrat is the only native rat found in the Okanagan. It is a large gentle squirrel like rodent. They are grey on the back and brown on the sides with white feet. The males are 11 to 18 inches in length (the tail alone is approximately four to eight inches).
Pack rats are most active 30 minutes after sunset and before dawn. They are nocturnal but sometimes will be spotted during the day. It is very common to have one pack rat in a 20 acre space. They like to live in solitary. In the wild they will nest in caves, logging slash, hollow logs, and abandoned buildings. In the urban areas they can be found in sheds, garages, attics, or drop ceilings.
Pack rats are attracted to shiny objects. They prefer to eat the leaves of aspen, willows, roses, cherries, currants, and snowberries but will also eat twigs and needles of Douglas-fir, juniper and spruce, raspberries, and fire weeds.
Pack rats start the mating ritual in February to March. The gestation period is 27 to 32 days. Once the juvenile are born, the female will run out the male. The litter can have one to six off spring under favourable conditions. Two litters about 2 months apart are produced. The young are weaned at age 26 to 30 days and reach maturity around eleven months old.
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