Rare Mouse Found in the Border Ranges National Park, NSW
Thanks to David Charley for permission to reproduce this article. Originally published in "Over The Fence", the Newsletter of the Northern Rivers Region, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. Newsletter No.6, April 2000.
Hastings River Mouse photo © Dr S. Townley
Found for the First Time
A new population of an endangered native mouse has been found for the first time in the World Heritage listed Border Ranges National Park.
The finding of the Hastings River Mouse, in the central Border Ranges, has extended the known habitat of this endangered and little known mouse.
The mouse was considered to be extinct until it was re-discovered in Werrikimbe National Park, east of Walcha, in 1981.
Dr Sally Townley, an expert on the mouse, was commissioned to do a survey in the Border Ranges, after a Park neighbour found a fox scat in the area containing hairs and bones of the Hastings River Mouse.
During the week long survey, several mice were trapped.
The Border Ranges have a great diversity of small ground dwelling mammals.
The mouse lives in grassy, wet eucalypt forest, usually in moist gullies. Fire and other impacts need to be managed appropriately within the Park to ensure that its habitat is preserved.
The Hastings River Mouse has disappeared from most of its former range, throughout eastern New South Wales. It now only has a patchy distribution in north-east New South Wales and south-east Queensland.
Photo: Forest on Pinnacle Walk, Border Ranges NP © David Palmer
The main threats to the mouse are disturbance to streamside forest habitats, fire, grazing, and introduced predators such as foxes, feral pigs, and cats.
It may also have been displaced from its preferred habitat as a result of competition with the common Bush Rat.
The long-term survival of this mouse is still uncertain. Conservation of streamside vegetation is the best way of assisting the species to recover.
For further information on the Hastings River Mouse contact Ranger David Charley on (02) 6632 0000.
References and Readings
Pinnacle Walk forest photo © David Palmer