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An extension to the known range of the desert mouse Pseudomys desertor south into the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia

Alpers, D.L., Gaikhorst, G., Lambert, C., Fletcher, T. and Spencer, P.B.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-4938-2615 (2003) An extension to the known range of the desert mouse Pseudomys desertor south into the Great Victoria Desert, Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 25 (1). pp. 95-96.

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THE desert mouse Pseudomys desertor is a medium sized rodent (15 – 30 g) which has a widespread distribution throughout the arid zone of Australia (Menkhorst and Knight 2001). It is considered locally abundant in habitats containing samphire, sedge, nitrebush or mature spinifex grasslands. A tolerance to disturbed habitat (from mining or grazing) has also been noted (Read et al. 1999). The distribution of the species once extended from the Murray-Darling through the Flinders Ranges to the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, to the west coast and onto Bernier Island (Read et al. 1999; Menkhorst and Knight 2001). Since European colonisation there has been a contraction of the species’ range to the central deserts (Kerle 1995; Read et al. 1999). In Western Australia, the most southerly historical or contemporary record, is from the Wanjarri Nature Reserve (near Mount Keith), 370 km north of Kalgoorlie (D. Pearson pers. comm.; Western Australian Museum fauna database: Recently, however, a suspected P. desertor was caught north-west of Queen Victoria Springs (QVS) in the Great Victoria Desert (GPS 30o 03’ 56’’S; 122o 55’ 28’’E), approximately 350 km to the south-east of its most southern known locality. The specimen had the distinctive buff-orange eye ring, size and general features of P. desertor described in Kerle (1995) and Menkhorst and Knight (2001). Prior to release of the specimen, an ear biopsy was obtained for DNA investigation and genomic DNA was extracted from the biopsy via a variation on the salting out procedure of Miller et al. (1988).

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Australian Mammal Society Inc.
Copyright: © Australian Mammal Society 2003
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