Common Name

Scientific Name

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The bushy-tailed woodrat, Neotoma cinerea, occurs in much of the western United States, as well as in western Canada. The species is common in Utah, where it may be found in high-elevation rocky habitats state-wide. Bushy-tailed woodrats do not usually build extensive homes, but will gather sticks and other debris together in crevices for dens. The species is active throughout the year and is primarily nocturnal.

Females may have several litters of three to four young each year. Bushy-tailed woodrats feed primarily on plant material, such as leaves, twigs, seeds, and fruits. They may store food in their dens. Woodrats, which are native to the New World, can be distinguished from Old World rats by the presence of hair on their tails rather than bare scaly skin.


  • Biotics Database. 2005. Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, NatureServe, and the network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.

  • Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider. 1980. A field guide to the mammals. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston. 289 pp.