Brown Rat - Rattus norvegicus


Brown Rats have coarse brown (occasionally black) fur, with a pale underside. They have a long tail, which is sparsely haired. Head and body length: 18 cm, weight: 200-400 gm.

Identification difficulty

Almost anywhere but has adapted particularly well to live in association with humans, feeding off refuse and scraps.

When to see it

All year round.

Life History

Burrows and swims well. Often reviled because of its association with various diseases. Life span of up to 18 months in the wild. Brown Rats breed throughout the year and can produce five litters a year. Females give birth to an average of eight young after a gestation of 22-24 days. These are weaned after 3-4 weeks.

UK Status

Common and found all over Britain except for exposed mountain regions and some small offshore islands, often subject to pest control.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map