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Population monitoring and habitat utilisation of the ash-grey mouse (Pseudomys albocinereus) in Western Australia

Smith, K.J., Fleming, P.A.ORCID: 0000-0002-0626-3851, Kreplins, T.L. and Wilson, B.A. (2018) Population monitoring and habitat utilisation of the ash-grey mouse (Pseudomys albocinereus) in Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy, 41 (2). pp. 170-178.

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Although Australia has a diverse native rodent fauna, the population dynamics and habitat requirements of most species have not yet been identified. Effective management for conservation of these species is therefore hindered. The aim of the present study was to investigate the habitat use and population dynamics of the ash-grey mouse (Pseudomys albocinereus) through trapping and radio-tracking in Boonanarring Nature Reserve, Western Australia. Although there was no relationship between capture rate and time since fire, ash-grey mice selected dense understorey vegetation. Burrows (47% of 19 unique daytime locations), Xanthorrhoea spp. (26%), tree hollows (11%), shrubs (11%), and logs were selected as daytime refuges. Mean (±s.e.) short-term home-range size was 1.70 ± 0.97 ha (n = 9) (maximum = 9.15 ha). There was some evidence that ash-grey mice may be excluded from favourable habitat by a high abundance of house mice (Mus musculus). Management to prevent declines of ash-grey mice should minimise threats to significant habitat features – areas with dense understorey vegetation, soils suitable for burrowing, grasstrees, hollow logs, and tree hollows. Suitable management strategies include: retention or rehabilitation of remnant vegetation; exclusion of livestock; low-intensity, small-area burns; and control of weeds, introduced predators and Phytophthora cinnamomi.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: Australian Mammal Society Inc.
Copyright: © 2018 CSIRO
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