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Smoky Mouse

Smoky Mouse

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Published by draculavanhelsing
Pseudomys fumeus
Pseudomys fumeus

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Categories:Types, Research, Science
Published by: draculavanhelsing on Apr 07, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/26/2014

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Smoky Mouse
 Pseudomys fumeus
(Brazenor, 1934)
Other common name
None
Conservation status
The Smoky Mouse is listed as an
EndangeredSpecies
on Schedule 1 of the New SouthWales
Threatened Species Conservation Act,1995
(TSC Act).
Description
(summarised from Watts & Aslin1981; Cockburn 1995; Ford 1998a)
 Head and Body Length
85-100 (90)mm
Tail Length
110-145 (140)mm
Weight 
45-90 (70)g - Grampians - (Cockburn 1995)38-68 (52)g - SE NSW - (Ford 1998a)
The Smoky Mouse is a native mouse similarin size to a small rat. Individuals have soft,fine, pale grey to blue-grey (eastern form) toblack (western form) fur with a grey to whitebelly and a ring of dark hairs around the eye.The feet are pink with white fur. The tail islonger than the head-body length, lightlyfurred and noticeably bicoloured beingsimilar to the top of the body dorsally andwhite ventrally.As in most Hydromyines, the Smoky Mousehas only 4 teats, whereas members of theMurinaea (eg. bushrats and house mice) have8-12 teats.
Distribution
Sub-fossil deposits indicate that the SmokyMouse was once widespread in south-easternNSW and in parts of Victoria (Lee 1995).Since European settlement this range hasdeclined and is currently limited to a smallnumber of sites scattered throughout western,southern and eastern Victoria, south-eastNSW and the ACT. The present distributionis disjunct, including both coastal andmountain sites (Menkhorst & Seebeck 1981).
THREATENED SPECIES INFORMATION
Smoky Mouse populations are present in theGrampians, the highlands north-east of 
Smoky MouseLinda Broome/NPWS
 
Melbourne and the coastal woodlands andheaths of eastern Gippsland. In theBrindabella Range, Australian CapitalTerritory and south-eastern NSW, individualshave been trapped but the extent of thesecolonies is unknown (Cockburn 1995). In1993, evidence of occurrences in NSW wereconfirmed with six definite records from twosites in the Mt Poole area of Nungatta StateForest (Broome
et al
. in prep.). The specieswas trapped in Nullica State Forest in 1994(Jurskis
et al.
1997) and studied at this sitein 1997/98 (Ford 1998a). Several additionalsites, which may constitute part of a singlemeta-population, occur nearby in what is nowSouth-east Forests National Park and in theadjacent Nullica State Forest (Ford 1998b).Extensive surveys within predicted areasthroughout Kosciuszko and NamadgiNational Parks have resulted in a further threerecords from these areas (Ford 1998b,Broome
et al
. in prep.).
Recorded occurrences inconservation reserves
Kosciuszko NP, Namadgi NP, South-eastForests NP - Nullica Section (Broome
et al
.in prep.).
Habitat
The Smoky Mouse appears to prefer heathyridgetops and slopes within sclerophyllforests, heathland and open forest from thecoast to sub-alpine regions of up to 1800 m.Occasionally, individuals may be observed inadjacent wetter habitats such as fern gullies(Cockburn 1995; Lee 1995; Ford 1998b).Habitats are characterised by a diverse arrayof shrub species predominantly from the
NPWS records of the Smoky Mouse in NSW
LEGEND
Map Compiled From:Species Sightings from the NPWS Atlas of NSW Wildlife DatabaseRoads and Rivers data from AUSLIG
Copyright NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, September 1999
This map is not guaranteed to be free from error or omissionThe NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and its employeesdisclaim liability for any act done or omission made on theinformation in the map and any consequences of such acts or omissions
#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y#Y
rrrrr
$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
BegaBourkeBroken HillDubboGraftonGriffithLismoreMoreeNewcastlePort MacquarieSydneyTamworthTibooburraWagga WaggaWollongong
The sightings represented on this map areonly indicative. They cannot be consideredas a comprehensive inventory and maycontain errors and omissions.
50050100Kilometers
NEWS
RiversRoads
r
Smoky Mousepre 1980 sightings
$
Smoky Mousepost 1980 sightings
 
Papillionaceae
 
and Epacridaceae families.However,
 Acacia
spp.,
 Leptospermum
spp.,
 Xanthorrhoea
spp.and trigger plants(
Stylidium graminifolium
) also occurfrequently in habitat areas (Cockburn 1995;Lee 1995; Ford 1998b).
Ecology
During summer the Smoky Mouse foragesfor seeds from legume shrubs, fruits of epacrid species, flowers and invertebrates,including Bogong Moths. In winter andspring, when seeds are less abundant, theyinclude a higher proportion of hypogeal(truffle-like) fungi in the diet (Cockburn1995; Ford 1998a). It has been suggested thatthe species is dependent on post-firesuccession for survival (Cockburn 1995) asthe development of the heathy vegetation isstrongly influenced by fire frequency andintensity (Menkhorst 1995). However, itappears to be associated more commonly withrelatively stable and diverse heathcommunities, rather than areas that haveundergone recent or frequent disturbance(Cockburn 1979; Broome
et al
. in prep.). Afire frequency of once in 20 years is sufficientto regenerate shrub species characteristic of the Smoky Mouse habitat (P. Catling, M.Austin, CSIRO pers. comm.). The preferredbreeding habitat seems to be characterisedby a high diversity of seed-bearing legumesand fruiting epacrids, with relatively deep,friable, sandy soils and good cover providedby rocks or vegetation (Cockburn 1983; Ford1998a).Breeding commences in spring withfemales producing one or two litters,each of three to four young (Cockburn1995; Ford 1998a). Older animalsbreed slightly earlier than younger onesand females often live to breed more thanone season (Cockburn 1995). Recentevidence shows that they nestcommunally, potentially increasing theirvulnerability to predation. Nestingburrows have been found in rockylocalities among tree roots and underthe skirts of 
Xanthorrhoea
spp. (Ford1998a, b; Broome
et al
. in prep.).
Threats
(summarised from Lee 1995; Broome
et al
. in prep.; Ford 1998a, b; Smith 1995)
Loss of habitat through clearing, loggingand associated activities
Inappropriate fire regimes, as too frequentburning, eg. 4-7 years for hazard reduction,is likely to be deleterious to the shrub andhypogeal fungi resource
Predation by cats, foxes and dogsparticularly if forestry or roading reducescover and increases predator activity
Cattle and rabbit grazing resulting in thereduction of food resources and the depletionin shrub cover
Management
(summarised from Broome
et al
.in prep.)
Further survey for the species, specificallyin areas of potential habitat
Protection and maintenance of known orpotential habitat, including theimplementation of protection zones
Introduced predator control programme,targeting known high quality habitat andrecently disturbed potential habitat
Prescribed burning and grazing regimes
which ensure the enhancement andmaintenance of floristic and structuraldiversity of the ground cover
Smoky Mouse habitatLinda Broome/NPWS
Recovery plans
NSW NPWS is preparing a recovery planfor this species.

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