The Black-footed Tree-rat habitat

The Black-footed Tree-rat is a large native rodent with a body 250 – 310 mm and tail 320 – 410 mm long, and weighing 650 – 880 g.  It has distinctive markings: the pelage is grey, with much longer black hairs on its back and rump. The ears are very long and black, and the feet and legs are black. The tail is also black and very long, with the last quarter covered in longer pure white hairs.


The Black-footed Tree-rat is found across northern Australia, and is found in the Top End of the Northern Territory in open woodlands, riverine areas and along the coast. Populations have declined an estimated 30– 50% in the last 10 years. It is listed as endangered Australia wide (and vulnerable on an NT level)

The species can be assisted by conserving and managing Black-footed Tree-rat habitat, particularly keeping landscapes fire and weed free, and planting appropriate fruiting species that are its food source.


The following is a list of some plants favoured by the Black-footed Tree-rat that are commonly found in our woodland landscapes and are tolerant of a water free dry season (once established) . They can be planted in free draining areas to establish habitat or enhance existing vegetation.


Shrub and lower layer

Petalostigma quadriloculare                                    Qunine tree

Acacia dimidiata                                                         Acacia

Breynia cernua                                                                 Breynia

Grevillea dryandri                                                           Dryander’s Grevillea


Mid story layer

Brachychiton paradoxum                                 Red flowered kurrajong

Planchonia careya                                              Cocky Apple

Grevillea decurrens                                             Clothes-peg Tree

Ficus aculeata                                                       Sandpaper Fig

Livistona humilis                                                 Sand Palm

Buchanania obovata                                          Green Plum

Acacia lamprocarpa                                              Wattle

Pandanus spiralis Screw Palm

Sterculia quadrifida                                             Peanut Tree

Syzygium eucalyptoides(ssp besseri)              White Bush Apple

Syzygium suborbiculare                                      Red bush Apple

Terminalia ferdinandiana                                 Kakadu plum


Upper or Canopy Layer

Acacia oncinocarpa                                           Wattle

Canarium australianum                                  Canarium

Eucalyptus miniata                                             Wooly butt

Eucalyptus tetrodonta                                       Darwin Stringybark

Corymbia ptychocarpa                                    Swamp bloodwood

Erythrophleum chlorostachyus                        Ironwood


Resources about the Black-footed Tree-rat

LFW BFTR info flyer -The Black-footed Tree-rat handout

LFW Mammals that use hollows flyer- Mammalsthatusehollows

NT Gov- Olf Growth Forest FLyer- old-growth-forest-english

NT Gov- BFTR Flyer- black-footed-tree-rat

Voluntary Conservation for Top End Native landscapes

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