My 100th Aussie mammal – New Holland Mouse

A couple of years ago I saw a Blue Whale surface beside the boat on a Portland pelagic and decided it was time to start a mammal list. I have put a bit of effort this year into finding new mammals and a recent tally put me on 99 identified species. I was fortunate enough on the weekend to be able to tag along while Phoebe Burns from Melbourne University and Museum Victoria checked traps for the endangered (in Victoria) New Holland Mouse at Wilson’s Promontory National Park. I am particularly interested in this species as it used to occur at a favourite childhood haunt Langwarrin Flora and Fauna Reserve before becoming extinct sometime in the 80’s. In Victoria the species is in considerable trouble with the only known extant populations now in the Yanakie Isthmus area of Wilson’s Prom, Providence Ponds and some parts of the Gippsland Lakes.

New Holland Mouse habitat

New Holland Mouse habitat

I was up at 5am from my sister’s holiday house at Phillip Island trekking across to Yanakie where I met up with Rohan Clarke. At 7:30 am we met up with Phoebe and her assistant Jenne and drove in to her research sites on the isthmus. Despite being a life long regular visitor to the Prom, this was one area I had never really explored so it was interesting to see the areas of long unburnt ti-tree habitat. It was a very successful morning with Phoebe finding nine New Holland Mice and a few Bush Rats in her traps. The New Holland Mouse is a very charismatic animal and was often quite chilled after release, several times running between legs as they ran off to their holes. This was my first Pseudomys and I am looking forward to seeing more of this genus of Australian native rodents. Phoebe is studying this population for her PhD and took measurements of each of the captured animals with her research important for the continued survival of this species in Victoria. A few hog deer on the way out showed that the recent culling effort has had little effect on the population.

New Holland Mouse hole

New Holland Mouse hole

New Holland Mouse

New Holland Mouse

Later in the day I dropped in at Cape Liptrap to look for whales but all I saw was a few fur-seals. A lyrebird crossing the road near the Cape was very unusual as the habitat is very strange and the species does not occur at nearby Wilsons Prom. Eventually I got my Humpback as a few were showing well off the Cape Woolamai beach back at Phillip Island. All in all a very successful day!

New Holland Mouse

New Holland Mouse

New Holland Mouse

New Holland Mouse

4 thoughts on “My 100th Aussie mammal – New Holland Mouse

  1. Craig

    Hi Corwin, great photos. The NHM is a tough little critter, hanging on for dear life despite many adversities. I’ll also be lucky enough to go on a NHM survey near the Gippsland Lakes in Aug/Sep and hopefully we manage to find some. By the way, I’ve come across Lyrebirds frequently at Cape Liptrap, Walkerville and Walkerville South and there seems to be a relatively large population here. It is unusual due to the habitat and they seem to be restricted to the wet gullies and creeklines of Coastal Banksia Woodland and Damp Sands Herb-rich Woodland in this area.
    Regards, Craig

    Reply
    • CorwinCaelin Post author

      Thanks Craig – makes sense RE Lyrebirds, just not something I was expecting driving down to the lighthouse 🙂 I really like your blog – will read through more later.

      Cheers, Tim

      Reply
  2. Fiona Smith

    Hi Corwin
    These images are fantastic. Particularly as good images of New Holland mice are very hard to come by.
    I was wondering if you would be able to contact me as we would like to use one of the images (with your permission and credited of course) in the Wilsons Promontory National Park – Conservation Action Plan that Parks Victoria is about to release. My email address is included below.
    Regards
    Fiona

    Reply

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