Bushy Tailed Woodrat

Bushy Tailed Woodrat

Bushy Tailed Woodrat

Bushy Tailed Woodrat is a medium sized rodent native to the western United States. Its range extends across Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia. It lives primarily along streams and rivers, though it does inhabit some dry habitats. It is most commonly found in riparian zones. This species is usually solitary except during breeding season. In winter, it forms small groups. A group consists of one male and up to six females. Females form monogamous pairs for mating purposes. They nest communally in large burrows located near water sources. The average lifespan is about three years.

Geographic Range

Bushy-tailed Woodrats are widely distributed across western North America, ranging north into Alaska, southwest to Utah and Nevada, west to Oregon and Washington, south to California, east to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming. They occur in both forested and open habitats, including deserts, grasslands, shrub lands, riparian zones, urbanized areas, and agricultural fields.

The distribution of bushy-tailed woodrats is highly fragmented due to habitat loss and fragmentation. In many regions, populations are small and isolated; some localities contain no individuals.

In addition, because of their secretive nature, it is difficult to determine the exact size of most populations. However, recent surveys indicate that total population sizes range from fewer than 10 to several hundred animals.


Bushy-tailed woodrat (Neotoma cinerea) is a small mammal species native to North America. It is most commonly known for being one of the few mammals capable of climbing trees. This ability allows it to move freely throughout its habitat. Its diet consists primarily of seeds and insects. It is omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals.

The species is widespread across much of Canada and the United States, ranging from Alaska southward into Mexico. In western states like Idaho and Montana, there are populations living in open forests. However, in areas where vegetation is sparse, such as the Great Basin Desert, the species prefers rocky outcrops.

In the early 1900s, bushies were considered pests because of their tendency to damage fences and power lines. As a result, many farmers tried to eradicate them. However, they quickly learned that Bushy Tailed Woodrat did not mind living among humans. So, instead of trying to eliminate them, they began trapping them and releasing them in nearby fields. By the 1940s, their population had grown enough that people realized that they could make money off of them. Trappers soon developed a method of catching and holding them while waiting for prices to rise.

Today, Bushy Tailed Woodrat are still caught and sold commercially. Most trappers catch them during the summer months, when they are active and feeding. Some trappers use traps that resemble those used to capture mink. Others use snares set near streams where they feed on fish. Still others use bait stations placed along roadsides. These stations consist of a container filled with food, usually peanut butter or cheese. When Bushy Tailed Woodrat approach, they lick up the food and become trapped. Trappers release them later.

Physical Description

Bushy-tailed woodrats (Neotoma cinerea) are small rodents with long tails and bushy coats. Males are typically larger than females and have longer tails. A male weighs about 400 grams while a female weighs about 275 grams. Their tail length averages around 15 centimeters.

The coat color varies depending on location, ranging from light brownish gray to dark chocolate brown. The hairless belly is white.

Males are often distinguished from females by having a black patch on the chest. This area is called the “nipple,” and it marks the beginning of the penis. Females lack nipples.

Woodrats are omnivorous, eating seeds, insects, fruits, berries, and plants. They also eat nuts, roots, tubers, and fungi.

They live in burrows dug into soil banks or rocks. Burrows are sometimes lined with leaves or grasses.

A typical home range is about 0.5 hectares.

In some areas, such as San Francisco Bay Area, California, there are many colonies of Bushy Tailed Woodrat. This is due to the fact that they are very adaptable animals and can survive in different habitats.


Some aspects of the reproductive cycle are still under debate among scientists studying the mating habits of woodrats. Woodrats are rodents native to North America. They live primarily in conifer forests and feed mostly on seeds and fruits. They are known for being able to dig underground burrows where they store food and sleep during winter months. Their breeding season typically lasts from May to August. During this period, females give birth to one to five pups every few weeks. Male woodrats do most of the work caring for the offspring. After about eight weeks, the mother returns to her home range. She stays there for another eight weeks while nursing her young. Then she leaves again. This process repeats itself throughout the year.

The reproductive ecology of woodrats has long been controversial. In the early 1900s, some biologists thought that males were monogamous and had sex with just one female each year. Others believed that males were promiscuous and had multiple sexual partners. Still others argued that both sexes were promiscuous. All of these ideas were based on observations of how many times males and females came into contact. Because males and females rarely come into physical contact, it was assumed that mating occurred outside of the group. However, recent research suggests that woodrat groups contain several distinct social units, including single individuals, pairs, and larger groups. Each unit has its own territory, and members of different units rarely interact.

In addition, researchers have found that woodrats have overlapping home ranges and use specific areas called leks. On leks, males congregate together and call out to attract females. Males often display to females by standing upright and vibrating their vocal cords. If the female responds, the pair mates. If she doesn’t respond, the male continues calling. He might continue doing this for hours. Sometimes he’ll even return later.

Woodrats have been described as having either monogamous or promiscuous mating systems. Monogamy refers to a situation in which a male has sex with just one female. Polygamy describes a system in which a male has multiple sexual partners. Both types of mating systems include polygamy and monogamy. Promiscuity refers to a situation in which a male has sex with many females. A promiscuous mating system includes promiscuity and polygamy.


Woodrats are omnivores, meaning that they eat both plant matter and animal matter. They are also polyphagous, meaning that they consume many different types of food. Their diet includes fruits, nuts, seeds, roots, tubers, fungi, insects, small vertebrates, eggs, and carrion. In addition to eating, woodrats use their paws to dig into soil to find food, and they may even excavate tunnels under the ground to reach buried resources.

Middens are areas where woodrats store their food and waste products, such as fecal pellets and urine. These deposits are known as middens, and they are common in woodlands throughout North America. Woodrats build middens by depositing and compacting their excrement and urine in piles called latrines. Latrines usually contain several distinct layers, including a surface layer composed of undigested plant material, a middle layer consisting of partially digested plant material, and a lower layer containing the densest concentrations of feces. Over time, the contents of the midden become compacted and form a hard mass. This process creates a structure that is stable enough to support the weight of the animal above it, allowing the animal to move around without disturbing the deposit.

Nests are areas within the midden where female woodrats give birth to offspring. Females typically choose nest sites near water sources, since access to water allows them to keep themselves clean. Nest sites tend to be shallow depressions in the soil filled with vegetation.

Communication and Perception

The term “perception channels” refers to how we perceive information about ourselves and others. There are five main types of perception channels: visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile. These different senses help us form our perceptions, which influence what we believe about people and situations around us.

Visual perception: Our eyes send signals to our brains that allow us to see things visually. We use our vision to understand the world around us.

Auditory perception: Our ears send messages to our brain that allow us to hear sounds. We use our hearing to understand speech and music.

Olfactory perception: Our noses send messages to our brain allowing us to smell odors. We use our sense of smell to identify food and to recognize friends and family members.

Gustatory perception: Our mouths send messages to our brain to let us know whether something tastes good or bad. We use taste to determine whether foods are safe or unsafe for consumption.

Tactile perception: Our skin sends messages to our brain that tell us whether something feels soft or rough. We use touch to feel textures and temperatures.

Food Habits

The bushy-tailed woodrat, Neotoma cinerea, is one of the most common rodents found throughout much of North America. While many people know about the rat because of its appearance, few realize how little we actually know about what it eats. In fact, there are very limited studies documenting the diet of this species. A study published in 1979 suggested that Bushy Tailed Woodrat consumed mostly plants, specifically leaves and twigs, while another study conducted in 1999 indicated that they ate more insects and seeds than plant material. However, neither of those studies examined the actual contents of the stomachs of individual animals.

A recent study, however, did examine the contents of the digestive tracts of wild Bushy Tailed Woodrat. Researchers collected fecal samples from individuals living near the Santa Ana River in southern California. They identified the types of plant matter present in each sample and compared them to the known diets of this species. Their findings suggest that Bushy Tailed Woodrat consume a variety of foods including grasses, sedges, herbs, shrubs, trees, and fruits. Interestingly, the researchers found that the amount of plant matter in the feces increased during times of drought, suggesting that Bushy Tailed Woodrat increase their consumption of plants during dry periods.

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