Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Rattus rattus
Species Authority: (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
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: 2015
Date Assessed: 2008-07-02
Assessor(s): Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. & Temple, H.J.
A widespread and abundant species, often regarded as a pest, hence is listed as Least Concern.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2008 Least Concern (LC)
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (LR/lc)

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.
Countries occurrence:
India; Pakistan
Albania; Algeria; Austria; Belarus; Belgium; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Cambodia; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Estonia; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Indonesia; Iran, Islamic Republic of; 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.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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

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.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.1. Forest - Boreal
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.2. Forest - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.5. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.7. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Mangrove Vegetation Above High Tide Level
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.6. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Moist
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.7. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical High Altitude
suitability: Suitable  
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.1. Grassland - Tundra
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.2. Grassland - Subarctic
suitability: Suitable  
4. Grassland -> 4.3. Grassland - Subantarctic
suitability: Suitable  
5. Wetlands (inland) -> 5.4. Wetlands (inland) - Bogs, Marshes, Swamps, Fens, Peatlands
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.1. Artificial/Terrestrial - Arable Land
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.2. Artificial/Terrestrial - Pastureland
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.3. Artificial/Terrestrial - Plantations
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.4. Artificial/Terrestrial - Rural Gardens
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.5. Artificial/Terrestrial - Urban Areas
suitability: Suitable  
14. Artificial/Terrestrial -> 14.6. Artificial/Terrestrial - Subtropical/Tropical Heavily Degraded Former Forest
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Amori, G. and Cristaldi, M. 1999. Rattus rattus. In: A. J. Mitchell-Jones, G. Amori, W. Bogdanowicz, B. Kryštufek, P. J. H. Reijnders, F. Spitzenberger, M. Stubbe, J. B. M. Thissen, V. Vohralík and J. Zima (eds), The Atlas of European Mammals, Academi Press, London, UK.

Corbet, G.B. and Hill, J.E. 1992. Mammals of the Indo-Malayan Region: a Systematic Review. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.

IUCN. 2015. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.3. Available at: (Accessed: 7 September 2015).

Lekagul, B. and McNeely, J.A. 1977. Mammals of Thailand. Association for the Conservation of Wildlife, Bangkok, Thailand.

Musser, G. G. and Carleton, M. D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D. E. Wilson and D. A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Spitzenberger, F. 2005. Rote Liste der Säugetiere Österreichs. In: K.P. Zulka (ed.), Rote Listen gefährdeter Tiere Österreichs, Böhlau, Wien, Köln, Weimar.

Taylor, J. M., Calaby, J. H. and Van Deusen, H. M. 1982. A revision of the genus Rattus in the New Guinean region. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 173: 177-336.

Citation: Amori, G., Hutterer, R., Kryštufek, B., Yigit, N., Mitsain, G. & Palomo, L.J. 2015. Rattus rattus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T19360A80732662. . Downloaded on 07 October 2015.
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