Here’s your excuse to go and visit Australia: The World Wildlife Federation (WWF) needs your help to learn more about a shy and little known water rat called the rakali.
The WWF and the Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife have launched a citizen science effort called “The Rakali Community” to collect more information about the rodent, in order to better understand where they live, and how populations might be faring.
“Rakali are mysterious, shy creatures, so it can be difficult to study them,” said WWF spokesperson Dr Sabrina Trocini, in a release on the WWF website.
Ralaki have webbed feet, broad noses, and dark fur on their backs. They have thick tails that are usually tipped with white fur, and lighter fur on their bellies.
Typically active around sunset, evidence for ralaki in the area can also be spotted by keeping a sharp eye out for footprints, tail trails, or the debris they leave behind after a feast of shellfish and aquatic insects. They live next to both fresh and salt bodies of water.
To help with this project, send your rakali sighting data via e-mail, including location details and/or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 08 6231 0223.