Habitats where rodents breed and congregate provide key refuge and foraging resources and as such may be important for the survival of local populations. The habitat characteristics at spring-time breeding and congregation sites of the Pilliga Mouse Pseudomys pilligaensis are analysed here. Data have been gathered from surveys undertaken in 1998-1999 and during a recent survey in 2011. The habitats at the sites (n=11) were found to be shrubby woodland or shrubland dominated by a low shrubby understorey with a projected foliage cover of 20-100%, a groundstorey plant cover of 20-70% and a litter cover of 15-50%. These habitats were found to have floristically diverse understoreys (12-29 species) with a variety of overstorey associations, if present. The results demonstrates that this species occurs in a wider range of vegetation communities than previously reported, though has specific breeding habitat preferences based primarily on understorey and groundstorey conditions. The potential distribution of “important habitat” for P. pilligaensis based on these floristic and structural preferences is presented as a predictive map, though it is recognised that the identification of these habitat conditions is best achieved by field examination.
Identification of important habitat for the Pilliga Mouse Pseudomys pilligaensis
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David Paull, David Milledge, Phil Spark, Sally Townley, Kevin Taylor; Identification of important habitat for the Pilliga Mouse Pseudomys pilligaensis. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2014; 37 (1): 15–22. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2013.010
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