It’s a good time to spot the native Rakali, or water-rat, on local waterways.
Although they are largely nocturnal, you might see one in the early morning or evening on the edges of wetlands, dams and waterways.
Favourite trails and eating platforms strewn with leftover meals are a good indicator of where you might find them.
Although fur colour varies from silver to dark grey, you will know a Rakali by it’s large size and white tipped tail. Look for a streamlined body, broad partially-webbed hind-feet, thick fur, and abundant whiskers.
Rakali hunt birds, mammals, frogs, reptiles, mussels, crustaceans, insects, spiders and fish, and if needed, they will also eat some plants.
Aquatic insects are an important food source for the water rat, so they need an environment that will support water beetles, water bugs, damselflies and dragonflies, and all of the other species that multiply in a healthy waterway.
Interested in Rakali? The Australian Platypus Conservancy has a free rakali webinar tomorrow night (Tuesday 6 December) at 7pm. Places are limited, click here to book. (Photo above is from this event listing by the Australian Platypus Conservancy)