New Holland mice (NHMs; Pseudomys novaehollandiae) and smoky mice (P. fumeus) are native rodent species endemic to south eastern Australia that are threatened and endangered respectively. Detections of both species have become scare over the past few decades, and they are thought to have become locally extinct at several locations.
As a PhD student at the University of Melbourne and Museum Victoria, I’ve been trekking across the Victoria looking for NHMs and smokies at historical locations. I’m investigating the power of camera surveys and traditional live trapping to detect the mice in different habitats at high and low abundance. I’m working on refining our understanding of the species’ habitat requirements, and using species distribution modelling to estimate the species’ current and predicted distributions.
For NHMs, I’m also investigating genetic variation across extant and extinct populations to see what we may have lost, and what we should focus on conserving. Additionally, I’m testing the response of NHMs to planned burns to help maximise habitat suitability for the species.
During my Masters research, I focused on how smoky mice responded to the 2013 Victoria Valley bushfire in the Grampians-Gariwerd National Park, western Victoria. I assessed the species long- and short-term persistence in the Victoria Range using data from across a patchy 40 year survey history, and my own extensive surveying in 2013. Continuing this work through my PhD, I’m looking at the factors influencing short-term smoky mouse population fluctuations in the Grampians.
Thank you to the following organisations for providing research funding:
- Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
- Parks Victoria
- Zoos Victoria
- Paddy Pallin Science Grant
- Friends of Grampians-Gariwerd
- The Linnaen Society of NSW – Joyce W. Vickery Scientific Research Fund
- Royal Zoological Society of NSW – Ethel Mary Read Grant
- Museum Victoria 1854 Student Scholarship
- The FNCV Environment Fund
All views published on this site are my own.