Some animals seem to have found a way to be a pest all over the world- animals such as cockroaches, flies, and mosquitoes. In this case, it is the Norway Rat, which is also called a Street Rat, Common Rat, Brown Rat and many other names. Originally from Asia rather than Norway, this rat reached the colonies in America by way of European ships right around the time our Founding Fathers were writing the Declaration of Independence; and they also reached a small Alaskan island called Hawadax Island back in 1780 due to a Japanese shipwreck (the rats wreaked havoc upon Alaska’s ecosystem and the small island was not rat-free until June of 2009.)
The Norway Rat can easily be identified as it is simply a Common Rat. It has a body of 7-10 inches, a nearly hairless, scaly tail of 5 ½- 8 inches, and has coarse, brown fur. The Norway Rat is known to have an average of 5 litters per year with each litter containing 8-10 young.
While the Norway Rat does, to a small degree, reside in the National Parks such as Bryce Canyon and Zion, you are much more likely to see him in a large city, for whenever possible they prefer to dwell in an urban environment where it often contaminates food and spreads various diseases. Its favorite residences are buildings, wharves and dumps.