|Northern Territory Status: Endangered
Australian Status: Vulnerable
|Compiled by Gabriel Crowley & Mark Ziembicki based on Woinarski J.C.Z., Pavey C., Kerrigan R., Cowie I. & Ward S. 2007. Lost from our Landscape - Threatened Species of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Darwin.|
|Last updated June 2009|
What it looks like: The Dusky Hopping-mouse has a marshmallow white belly, but is otherwise pale brown with grey streaks. It has large furless ears, and a long tail that ends in a tuft of dark hairs. It has strong front teeth, large dark eyes, and extremely long and narrow hind feet that contrast with small front paws.
Where it lives: Dusky Hopping-mice live in sandy dune country where there is perennial plant cover and water nearby. Most of the species' range is in northern South Australia and western Queensland. There are a few records from in the Northern Territory from early last century.
Importance as an indicator: The decline of the Dusky Hopping-mouse is a signal that all is not well in arid land environments. While the ultimate cause has not been established, predation by cats and foxes, and overgrazing by feral and domestic animals, particularly mice, have been postulated as contributing factors.
Look after Dusky Hopping-mouse by managing feral animals. Control mice and rabbits, which compete for its food, and cats and foxes, which have had a significant impact on native arid land mammals. On pastoral properties, ensure a moderate grazing pressure, and spell country from grazing to allow the recovery of ground cover plants whenever practicable. Maximise habitat diversity and food availability by establishing a patchy fire regime, burning small areas whenever fuel conditions will support fire, but not allow it to get away from target areas. It is so long since the Dusky Hopping Mouse has been seen in the Northern Territory that any sightings of this once widespread species should be reported to the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, the Arts and Sport in Alice Springs.
Best Practice Management for Dusky Hopping-mouse
* Maintain shrub layer * Maintain ground layer * Control pest animals * Graze moderately and periodically spell country from grazing * Manage fire * Report new populations
View this content in the full Northern Land Manager site which also contains over 19,000 items all quickly browseable by location, topic and search