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New Holland Mouse

New Holland Mouse

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Published by draculavanhelsing
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Published by: draculavanhelsing on Sep 28, 2013
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Listing Statement for
Pseudomys novaehollandiae
(New Holland Mouse)
Threatened Species Section - Department of Primary Industries & Water 
 
1
 
Image: Billie Lazenby 
Scientific name:
 
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
 Waterhouse (1843)
 
Order/Family: Rodentia/Muridae
 
Common Name: New Holland MouseStatus:
Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 
:
Endangered
 
Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 
:
 Vulnerable
  Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 
:
Not Listed
IUCN Redlist 
:
 Vulnerable
 Regional Forest Agreement:
Priority Species
 
 Tasmanian NRM Region:
North and South
 
Distribution:
 
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
New Holland Mouse
T A S M A N I A N T H R E A T E N E D F A U N A L I S T I N G S T A T E M E N T
Figure 2.
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
Image: Dave Watts
Figure 1
. Known locations of 
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
in Tasmania
 
Listing Statement for
Pseudomys novaehollandiae
(New Holland Mouse)
Threatened Species Section - Department of Primary Industries & Water 
 
2
DESCRIPTION AND ECOLOGY 
 The New Holland Mouse
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
 ) is a small, nocturnal, terrestrial,burrowing native rodent found in disjunctcoastal locations on the north and north east of  Tasmania, including Flinders Island. Thespecies is also found in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. The species grows to a maximum head andbody length of about 90 mm, is grey-brownabove and has a dusky brown tail which is 10-15% longer than the rest of the body anddarker on the dorsal surface. It has relatively large eyes. These two latter features distinguishit from the house mouse ( 
 Mus musculus 
 ) for which it may be mistaken. The species is omnivorous, and seeds form oneof the main items in the diet. Breeding typically occurs between August and January, and sexualmaturity is reached at 13 weeks for females and20 weeks for males. First year females canproduce one litter per season and second yearfemales three or four litters. Litter sizes rangefrom 1-6, averaging 4.6, and young are suckledfor 3-4 weeks. Wild females live for up to twoyears of age. Data on longevity for males islacking.
DISTRIBUTION AND HABITAT
Following the first documented discovery of 
P.novaehollandiae 
in Tasmania in 1976, the specieshas since been found in a number of locations,predominantly on the east coast of the Statefrom Flinders Island to Coles Bay (Table 1). Aspecimen was collected from Deal Island withhair in cross section that was consistent with
P.novaehollandiae 
however a number of externalcharacteristics of this specimen were notconsistent with
P. novaehollandiae 
. Hair of juvenile Swamp Rats
Rattus lutreolus 
can beconfused with
P. novaehollandiae 
.Habitat across the species’ known rangeincludes open heathlands, open woodlands witha heathland understorey, and vegetated sanddunes. On mainland Australia the species hasbeen found to peak in abundance during theearly to mid stages of vegetation succession, which is typically 2-3 years post fire. Howeverthere may be exceptions to this pattern for
P.novaehollandiae 
in Tasmania, as the species hasbeen found in vegetation up to 16 years post-fire. Whether the species would have a muchhigher abundance if this 16 year old vegetation was 2-3 years post fire is unknown. In light of these observations, fire management planning should take into consideration the successionalstage of the vegetation and not just post-fireage.
HISTORICAL DISTRIBUTION
Sub-fossil remains of 
P. novaehollandiae 
in owlpellets have been identified from three areas in Tasmania: Ranga Caves (Flinders Island),Flowery Gully (near Beaconsfield in northern Tasmania) and Hastings Caves (southern Tasmania). Hastings Caves is well south of thespecies’ currently known distribution in Tasmania. The national fossil distribution of 
P.novaehollandiae 
is currently under investigationand preliminary results indicate that the species was much more widespread and abundant priorto European settlement. The observation that
P. novaehollandiae 
fossil remains occur in a very  wide range of habitats is in contrast to the very specific habitats that the species is now apparently restricted to.In addition, it is highly likely that the extent of the habitat that
P. novaehollandiae 
is now foundin has been greatly reduced since Europeansettlement.
RESERVATION STATUS
P. novaehollandiae 
is reserved in two NationalParks (Freycinet NP and Mt William NP) andthree Conservation Areas (Coles Bay CA, Bay of Fires CA and Darling Range CA). A largeproportion of the known populations andassociated habitat occurs in formal reserves onpublic land (Table 1).
POPULATION ESTIMATE
Unknown
 
Listing Statement for
Pseudomys novaehollandiae
(New Holland Mouse)
Threatened Species Section - Department of Primary Industries & Water 
 
3
CONSERVATION ASSESSMENT
Pseudomys novaehollandiae 
meets the criteria forlisting as Endangered on the Tasmanian
Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 
as the specieshas an extent of less than 5000 km
2
, occupiesless than 50 000 hectares, has a severely fragmented distribution, with evidence of extreme fluctuations in populations and acontinuing decline.
 
 THREATS, LIMITING FACTORS ANDMANAGEMENT ISSUES
 THREATS
Currently recognised threats to the species arelisted below in no order of priority. Threats arelikely to be interrelated.
 
Habitat loss and modification. The singlelargest contributing factor to habitat lossand modification is likely to be lack of appropriate fire regimes. Most currently known populations of 
P. novaehollandiae 
arefound within reserves, however the specieshas been very poorly surveyed, and habitatmodelling indicates the presence of 
P.novaehollandiae 
habitat outside of reserves.Causes of habitat loss additional toinappropriate fire regimes include coastaldevelopment and conversion to forestplantation, and conversion to pasture. Animportant cause of habitat modification isinfection of 
P. novaehollandiae 
habitat withroot rot fungus
Phytophthora cinnamomi.
 
 
Predation from generalist introducedpredators such as the cat and fox. Thismight be one explanation for the apparentreduction in habitat range of 
P.novaehollandiae 
since European settlement.
 
Fragmented populations are more vulnerable to local extinction throughstochastic risk.
 
Rainfall has been shown to affect the lengthof the breeding season for
P. novaehollandiae; 
 therefore reduced rainfall as a result of climate change may be a significant threatto the species.
LIMITING FACTORS
Factors that limit the effective management of the conservation status of 
P. novaehollandiae 
aregenerally associated with a lack of knowledge of the species’ ecology, distribution andabundance. Limiting factors include:
 
current distribution of 
P. novaehollandiae 
  within Tasmania is unknown;
 
lack of appropriate fire managementplanning;
 
lack of understanding of the magnitude of threats to the species including the impactof the cat and fox;
 
lack of understanding of the causal factorsunderlying the species apparently specifichabitat requirements including the effect of potential competition with the introducedhouse mouse,
 Mus musculus 
;
 
the need for an assessment of theeffectiveness of different monitoring methods in order to understand theprobability of detecting the species andtherefore interpret apparent ‘negative’detection results;
 
lack of understanding of the short and long term impacts of variations in rainfall on thepopulation viability of 
P. novaehollandiae 
.
MANAGEMENT ISSUES
It is important that potential and known
P.novaehollandiae 
habitat is managed as theuncertainty in detecting 
P. novaehollandiae 
may result in false negative records. Moreover
P.novaehollandiae 
distribution is patchy in time andspace, given the species’ reliance on early tomid-stage successional vegetation. Therefore
P.novaehollandiae 
habitat should be managed toinclude the entire range of vegetationsuccession stages in order for effective long term conservation of habitat.
MANAGEMENT STRATEGY 
 WHAT HAS BEEN DONE?
 A draft multi-species recovery plan has beenprepared for the Freycinet region, whichincludes actions for
P. novaehollandiae 
.Studies have been undertaken to qualitatively and quantitatively describe
P. novaehollandiae 
 

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