ENVIRONMENT YUKON






Common Muskrat

Ondatra zibethicus

Order Rodentia
Family

Cricetidae

 

common muskrat

D. Robertson

Also known as: Water Rat

Fast Facts

Distribution in Yukon
Length 50 cm Distribution of Common Muskrat
Weight 1 kg
Lifespan 2 years
Habitat waves
Predators Mink, otters, foxes, Coyotes, hawks, owls, humans

Conservation Status

Yukon S4S5 (Apparently Secure/Secure)
Global G5 (Secure)
Yukon population estimate: Not determined

 

Description

Behaviour

Common Muskrats build pushups by chewing plunge holes in thin autumn ice at cracks and bubbles where marsh gases escape. They then pile mud and plants into domes above the holes. When frozen solid and covered with snow, these domes close in air and keep out winter's worst weather. Muskrats swim with their heads and backs out of the water and are most active around twilight.

Diet

Pondweeds, reeds and water milfoil, horsetails.

Sights and sounds

Pushup through snow

Muskrat front trackMuskrat hind track

Signs

Muskrat pushup

Tracks

Front: 3.3 x 3 cm Hind: 3.3 x 4 cm

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Sound

Squeaking

 

 

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