Rattus rattus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Rattus rattus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Common Name(s):
English House Rat, Ship Rat, Roof Rat, Black Rat
French Rat Noir
Spanish Rata Negra

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
A widespread and abundant species, often regarded as a pest, hence is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: Originally an Indomalayan species, Rattus rattus was widely introduced across the globe as a result of human activities. In Europe, it has been present since ancient times, and is found in most countries. The species is widespread and common throughout the Mediterranean region. The list of countries of occurrence where the species is introduced is incomplete.

Still found throughout south-east Asia; includes a complex of at least four distinct species; Rattus rattus sensu strictu originally from Western India and Pakistan, spread worldwide thence.
India; Pakistan
Albania; Algeria; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Indonesia; Ireland; Italy; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Latvia; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Malaysia; Malta; Moldova; Montenegro; Morocco; Myanmar; Netherlands; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russian Federation; Serbia (Serbia); Singapore; Slovenia; Spain; Thailand; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine; United Kingdom; Viet Nam
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: A widespread and abundant species.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Primarily commensal, but also found in a variety of natural and semi-natural habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Not protected under international legislation; commonly regarded as a pest. Present in many protected areas.

Citation: Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J. 2008. Rattus rattus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided