The Pacific rat (Rattus exulans), known to Māori as kiore, was introduced by the first Polynesian settlers. The rats eat a wide range of foods including seeds, fruits, insects, lizards, bird eggs and chicks. Native plants and animals are poorly equipped to compete with, or defend themselves against, introduced predators such as rats. The Pacific rat is now found mainly on offshore islands, as mice and rat species introduced by Europeans are thought to have displaced it from most of the mainland. This photograph was taken on Little Barrier Island in 1979.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by Dick Veitch
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