Woodrats, also known as Pack Rats or Trade Rats are pale, gray or reddish brown with white underbelly and feet. Woodrats have large ears and hairy tails. They range from 8-20” long including their 3-9” tail. It is believed the woodrat is a fair tradesman in leaving something in exchange for equal value for anything it takes.
Woodrats are widely distributed throughout all the North American desert regions and Canada. In New Mexico, populations east of the Rio Grande comprise the white-toothed and white-throated woodrat.
The woodrat habitat encompasses anything from gravel desert lowlands, dry plains, brushlands, and pinyon-juniper forests, from sea level to 8,000 feet of high rocky mountainsides. In North American deserts there are seven species of woodrats.
Woodrats collect various objects and materials to use for their nests. Most nests are constructed from branches, twigs, sticks, and other material they gather. Their nests are similar to a beaver-dam and may be up to 4-feet wide. Woodrats most commonly mingle in attics, car engines, haystacks, near cacts and yucca plants. Cactus and yucca plants provide protection from predators and desert temperatures.
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