THREATENED SPECIES OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
FALSE WATER-RATWATER MOUSE
Australia: Vulnerable.Northern Territory: Data Deficient.
The false water-rat is a small (35-50 g)rodent of unmistakable appearance.The most distinctive external featuresare a broad relatively short face, andvery short sleek fur. Fur colour is palegrey above and white below. Theeyes and ears are relatively small.
(Photo: Alex Dudley)
In the Northern Territory, it is knownfrom only 10 records at 6 sites (SouthAlligator River in 1903, Daly Riverfloodplain in 1972, two sites on theTomkinson River in 1975, MelvilleIsland in 1975 and Glyde Riverfloodplain in 1998 and 1999)(Redhead and McKean 1975;Magnusson
. 1976; Woinarski
. 2000). Beyond the NorthernTerritory, it is also known from severalsites in coastal south-easternQueensland and one site in NewGuinea.
Conservation reserves where reported
:Kakadu National Park (but this recordis from 1903, well pre-dating thePark’s establishment).
Known locations of the false water-rat
= pre 1970;
= post 1970.
The ecology of the species isreasonably well known from a detailedstudy on North Stradbroke Island,Queensland (Van Dyck 1996). Thefalse water rat is a nocturnal predatoreating mainly marine and freshwaterinvertebrates, especially includingcrabs, pulmonates and molluscs. Itforages entirely on the ground, and isan adept swimmer. It builds andshelters in either burrows orsubstantial earthen mounds. Itshabitats comprise mangrove forests,freshwater swamps and floodplainsaline grasslands (Woinarski
In the Northern Territory, the speciescan potentially be assigned the status