Proceedings of the New Zealand Ecological Society (1973) 20: 21- 30

Seasonal diet of the ship rat (Rattus rattus) in lowland forest in New Zealand

Research Article
M. J. Daniel  
  1. Ecology Division, DSIR, Lower Hutt.

The seasonal diet of ship rats in a stand of lowland podocarp-rata-broadleaf forest in North Island, New Zealand, was studied from analysis of 173 stomachs, 46 fresh droppings and 10 feeding trials. Arthropods, particularly tree wetas (Order Orthoptera), were the main foods in spring and summer, while drupes, berries and nuts predominated in autumn and winter. Birds were not an important food. Seasonal variations in the diet were related to the seasonal abundance of these foods in the forest