This species is endemic to the Nicobar group of Islands in India, where it is confined to the islands of Great Nicobar, Little Nicobar and Trinket (Molur et al. 2005; Musser and Carleton 2005). Rattus palmarum and R. anadamanensis occur on Car Nicobar Island and not R. burrus as previously believed (Musser and Carleton 2005). The total area of the islands is less than 1,500 km². and the species is fragmented into three populations on as many islands.