Okinawa Spiny Rat
- Invasive species
The Okinawa Spiny Rat from the Muridae family is an endemic rodent species in Okinawa, Japan. Also known as Muennik’s Spiny rat, its natural habitat is believed to be within a 3 square km moist broadleaf forest area of the island. It has short, thick body fur with grooved spines protruding from it which is why it bears strong resemblance to a vole but only larger in size.
Because of the government’s forestry programs, many of its breeding grounds were disturbed and converted for agricultural purposes. This hampered the normal reproductive cycle and also increased its exposure to feral rats which they are defenceless from.