Natural History: The Roof Rat, also know as the black rat, is omnivorous and largely nocturnal. Only where populations are relatively high does one see them frequently in the daytime. They inhabited groceries, warehouses, feed stores, poultry houses, and grain warehouses. On the farms they lived in barns and corncribs. They may live near the ground, but usually they frequent the attics, rafters, and crossbeams of the buildings.
General Distribution: Probably originating in Asia, the Roof Rat now lives throughout the world, particularly in areas around seaports. In the Presidio, this species typically can be found within blackberry thickets and buildings. It has been sighted at El Polin Spring and Inspiration Point in the Presidio.
Frequency: This is an uncommon species within the Presidio.
Identifying Characteristics: This rodent has two color phases: brown and black. It is distinguished by its relatively large size and long, naked tail.
Did You Know?
In the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, nearly 250,000 people were left homeless. The Army responded quickly, establishing refugee camps on the Presidio and organizing relief efforts.