Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is endemic to the arid and semi-arid areas of central Australia, from the plains of Lake Eyre Basin to the Northern Territory. It is absent from the Central Desert. It is also not found continuously throughout range; patchy distribution.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This nocturnal species is found in arid areas where it is associated with tussock grasslands, cracking clay plains, and low shrublands on plains with loam, clay, or stony soils (Reid 2008). It is rarely recorded from mulga woodlands, spinifex grasslands, rocky-hills, and areas of sand dune (Reid 2008). Females give birth to a litter of between three and four young, and reproduction is believed to be generally related to rainfall (Reid 2008).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Robinson, T. & Read, J.

Reviewer/s
Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern because, although it has a patchy distribution and fluctuating populations, it has a wide distribution, a presumed large population, it lacks major threats, and it is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

History
  • 1996
    Lower Risk/near threatened
    (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
Population levels fluctuate with rainfall.

Population Trend
Unknown
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
There are no major, widespread threats to this species. High levels of grazing, particularly by sheep, is a localized threat. Feral cats and red foxes may be a localized threats.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is present in some protected areas.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Forrest's mouse

The Forrest's mouse (Leggadina forresti), or desert short-tailed mouse, is a small species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is a widespread but sparsely distributed species found across arid and semi-arid inland Australia, commonly found in tussock grassland, chenopod shrubland, and mulga or savannah woodlands.

Description[edit]

The Forrest's mouse is a small mouse weighing between 15-25g,[2] but recorded to 30g. [3] Short, thick tail that is distinctly less than (60-70%) of the combined head and body length.[2][4] Body is thickset with a broad, blunt muzzle,[2] and relatively small ears and eyes.[4] Upperparts are a thick, lustrous and short fur of pale yellow brown or greyish fawn, with a pencilling of darker hairs, and small white patches behind the ears.[2][4] There is a strong demarcation to white under the lower jaw, chin and feet, with the sparsely haired tail grey above and pale grey below, and the ears rounded and pinkish-grey.[2]






Taxonomy[edit]

Oldfield Thomas first identified Leggadina forresti in 1906 from a specimen collected at Alexandria Station in the Northern Territory.[5] The Leggadina genus contains two species, both found in Australia including Leggadina forresti and the tropical short-tailed mouse, or Lakeland Downs mouse Leggadina lakedownensis, which is found in moist tussock grassland and tropical savannah of coastal northern Australia.[2]

Several synonyms exist for this species:[6]

  • Mus forresti (Thomas, 1906)
  • Pseudomys messorius (Thomas, 1925)
  • Pseudomys waitei (Troughton, 1932)
  • Gyomys berneyi (Troughton, 1936)

Distribution[edit]

Widespread but sparsely distributed across much of arid and semi-arid inland Australia, from eastern Western Australia to Rolleston in central Queensland, the Barkly Tableland in the Northern Territory to Cockburn, South Australia.[2] In New South Wales, has been recorded in Sturt National Park, Tibooburra, and as sub-fossil remains at Mutawintji National Park.[4]

Conservation Status[edit]

The species was previously listed as Lower Risk/near threatened in 1996 on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, but was reassessed in 2008 as a species of least concern.[1] The Forrest's mouse is not listed under the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, but is listed as Vulnerable in NSW on Schedule 2 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Ecology and Habitat[edit]

Example of habitat of the Forrest's mouse

A nocturnal and terrestrial animal, the Forrest's mouse shelters during the day in a grass nest in shallow burrows (possibly at the base of spinifex tussocks), and also in cracks in the soil.[2][4]

Although little is known on the population dynamics and social organisation of the species, it is thought they are a solitary animal, occurring in low densities regardless of habitat suitability.[5] Individuals have been recorded entering a state of torpor in both captivity and the wild, and longevity is estimated to be 1.5 to 2 years.[7]

Habitats are varied and include: riparian Coolabah forest, tussock grassland, stony saltbush plains, mulga and savannah woodlands, chenopod shrubland and sandy ridges,[4] and cracking clay pans.[8]



Reproduction[edit]

The reproductive rate of Forrest's mouse peaks during winter and spring, with some breeding occurring in autumn,[7] and thought to be related to rainfall.[2] Litter size is usually of 3 to 4 young, with a gestation period of 35 days, and a weaning period of 28 days,[9] when the young reach around 9g in weight.[5] It is unclear as to the age at which individuals reach sexual maturity.[7]

Diet[edit]

The Forrest's mouse has a varied diet, and is considered an omnivore. Food items identified include seeds, green plant stems and leaves, arthropods including beetles and spiders, and fungi.[2][7][10] Assessment of stomach contents concluded the major food item was seed (47%), followed by arthropods at 27%, with the remainder consisting of stem and leaf material.[11] It is generally thought that the Forrest's mouse does not rely on standing water for drinking, as it obtains sufficient moisture from its' diet in a similar fashion to other well adapted desert rodents.[7]

Predators[edit]

The Forrest's mouse is subject to predation by both introduced animals and native predators. Both feral cats Felus catus and the European red fox Vulpes vulpes have been recorded as predating on the Forrest's mouse in Queensland,[12] which has been identified as a contributing factor in the decline of native rodents.[7] The barn owl Tyto alba is known to predate on the species in South Australia,[13] and other birds of prey recorded consuming the Forrest's mouse include the letter-winged kite Elanus scriptus in the Simpson Desert.[14] In assessing the risk of dingo Canis lupus dingo predation to threatened vertebrates in western NSW after re-introduction, it was found that the Forrest's mouse faced a high risk of predation from dingoes, based on bodyweight, behaviour and habitat.[15]

Threats[edit]

Heavy grazing and the trampling of habitat by domestic stock, feral goats, rabbits and pigs has been identified as a threat to the Forrest’s mouse.[4] Grazing by stock affects native rodents through the removal of shrubs and grasses that provide food and shelter, and powder and compact the topsoil, which makes burrowing difficult or impossible.[7] This can also make the Forrest’s mouse more vulnerable to predation, and reduces the ability to move between isolated habitats.[4]

Predation by feral cats and foxes is considered a threat to the Forrest’s mouse, and exotic species such as the house mouse Mus domesticus have the ability to sustain the population of predators.[7] The house mouse, along with other introduced herbivores compete with the Forrest’s mouse for food resources and habitat.[4]

The loss of habitat through inappropriate or altered fire regimes is recognised as a threatening process for native rodents, however it is unclear as to whether the Forrest’s mouse is adversely affected by current fire regimes, or what requirements are needed in terms of fire history.[7]

The use of 1080 poison(sodium monofluoroacetate) in pest control has the potential to poison the Forrest’s mouse through the ingestion of baits,[7][4] and the use of pesticides for the control of locusts may also represent a threat.[7]

The introduction of standing water through farm dams and irrigation schemes has the potential to attract potential predators and competitors of the Forrest’s mouse,[4] and serve as focal point for herbivores and the modification of vegetation through grazing.[7]

A loss of habitat through the clearing of trees, shrubs and grasses, the removal of ground debris and loss of hollows have also been identified as a threat to the survival of the Forrest’s mouse.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Robinson, T. & Read, J. (2014). Leggadina forresti. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 05 October 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Menkhorst, P., and Knight, F. (2001). A field Guide to the Mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press South Melbourne, p.184 ISBN 0-19-550870-X
  3. ^ Breed, W. G., and Taylor, J. (2000). Body mass, testes mass, and sperm size in Murine rodents. Journal of Mammalogy, 81(3), 758-768.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Department of the Environment and Heritage. (2014). Forrest's mouse - profile. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/threatenedSpeciesApp/profile.aspx?id=10456. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Watts, C. H. S., and Aslin, H. J. (1981). The Rodents of Australia. Angus and Robertson, Australia, pp. 207-212
  6. ^ Atlas of Living Australia. (2014). Leggadina forresti (Thomas 1906). http://bie.ala.org.au/species/Leggadina+forresti#tab_names. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l NPWS. (2002). Forrest's mouse (Leggadina forresti) and Sandy Inland Mouse (Pseudomys hermannsburgensis) Recovery Plan. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville, NSW. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/approvedSandyforest.pdf Retrieved October 5, 2014.
  8. ^ Reid, J. R. W. (2008). Central Short-tailed Mouse, Leggadina forresti. In Van Dyck, S., and Strahan, R. (eds). The Mammals of Australia. Third Edition. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia, pp. 581-583.
  9. ^ Yom-Tov, Y. (1985). The reproductive rates of Australian rodents. Oecologica, 66(2), 250-255.
  10. ^ Murray, B. R., Dickman, C. R., Watts, C. H. S., and Morton, S. R. (1998). The dietary ecology of Australian desert rodents. Wildlife Research, 26, 857-858
  11. ^ Read, D. G. (1984). Diet and habitat preference of Leggadina forresti (Rodentia: Muridae) in Western New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy, 7, 215-217. In NPWS. (2002). Forrest's Mouse (Leggadina forresti) and Sandy Inland Mouse (Pseudomys hermannsburgensis) Recovery Plan. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hurstville, NSW. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/resources/nature/approvedSandyforest.pdf
  12. ^ Mifsud, G., and Woolley, P. A. (2012). Predation of the Julia Creek dunnart (Sminthopsis douglasi) and other native fauna by cats and foxes on Mitchell grass downs in Queesnland. Australian Mammalogy, 34, 188-195. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM11035 Retrieved October 5, 2014
  13. ^ McDowell, M. C., and Medlin, G. C. (2009). The effects of prey selection of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in the Strzelecki Regional Reserve, north-eastern South Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 31, 47-55.
  14. ^ Pavey, C. R., Eldridge, C. R., and Heywood, M. (2008). Population dynamics and prey selection of native and introduced predators during a rodent outbreak in arid Australia. Journal of Mammalogy, 89(3), 674-683.
  15. ^ Allen, B. L., and Fleming, P. J. S. (2012). Reintroducing the dingo: the risk of predation to threatened vertebrates of western New South Wales. Wildlife Research, 39, 35-50. http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/WR11128 Retrieved October 5, 2014.
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!