The Hastings River mouse Pseudomys oralis is a rare Australian rodent with a patchy distribution in north-east NSW and southern Queensland. The micro-habitat requirements of the species are poorly known, although the majority of known records for the species are from areas with dense and complex ground cover and a high diversity of food-plant availability. The species is also thought to be at risk from exotic mammalian predators (feral cats Felis catus and red foxes Vulpes vulpes), and to be negatively associated with habitat edges, although this relationship has not been explicitly tested. This study investigates the micro-habitat use by P. oralis in a highly disturbed forest/pasture interface in Marengo State Forest, north-east NSW, as revealed by cotton spool-and line tracking. Individuals appeared to be significantly selecting habitat based on shrub-layer canopy cover in the 1-1.5 m height layer, with 76.1 % of the total spool line located under shrub-layer canopy compared to an environmental availability of 18.8 %. Shrubs (particular Tasmannia stipitata and Leptospermum spp.) were the most commonly selected cover type, followed by logs and head and butt residue. There were also significant trends in micro-habitat use at the ground level, with leaf litter, grass and logs were the most frequently used categories. These findings are discussed in light of current knowledge of the habitat requirements and management of P. oralis.
Habitat use by the Hastings River mouse, Pseudomys oralis
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Kristy Graham, Grant Blackwell, Dieter Hochuli; Habitat use by the Hastings River mouse, Pseudomys oralis. Australian Zoologist 1 June 2005; 33 (1): 100–107. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2005.007
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