Do you have a dam or pond on your property? With a few tweaks to your plants and water features you may also have the fascinating native rakali.

Any reliably filled water body is potential habitat for a local rakali population. All that is needed is a functioning food web, shelter and structures for nesting.

The rakali or Australian water-rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) is a generalist when it comes to habitat, happily living in creeks, rivers and still water bodies like flood retarding basins, siltation ponds, farm dams and ornamental ponds or lakes.

They need water of varying depths to support their aquatic food sources, native vegetation cover on the edges for protection, logs, stumps and branches to provide feeding platforms and a bank or hollow log for resting and nesting.

Rakali are highly mobile, so rakali-friendly water bodies are likely to be occupied within a short time of being established. Your dam or pond can therefore make a significant difference to the long-term viability of a regional rakali population.

The Australian Platypus Conservancy have recently released new guidelines to help ensure common man-made waterbodies can also be rakali habitat. Download the guidelines from the APC website here.

Parklands acknowledge the APC as the source for this article.

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