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Pilliga Mousa (Pseudomys pilligaensis)

Pilliga Mouse

The Pilliga Mouse


The pilliga mouse was first recognized as a species by science in 1980, at that time there were only 12 known members of this species in existence. This species is found in the Pilliga region of New South Wales. There are only two threats to the pilliga mouse; fire and predators. Owls and foxes are the only known predators to this species, after a fire the pilliga mouse is even more vulnerable due to a lack of shelter. There is very little information available on the behavior of this species, primarily due to a lack of specimen.

Pilliga mice are social rodents that live together in burrows that can be up to 30cm under the ground. There is a designated nest chamber complete with leaves for comfort. In general this species will use the same burrow for up to six months; less time is spent in the warmer months. The pilliga mice are most social during the winter months, probably for warmth.

The pilliga mouse is rather small and measures about 160mm from head to tail. Coloration is grayish brown on the back, the underbelly is white. There is pink present on the feet and a bright pink is present in the ears. The tail is colored similarly to the rest of the body. Average pilliga mice weigh 12g.

The diet of the pilliga mouse varies throughout the year. Fungi are the primary source of nutrition during the winter months; most likely because it can be obtained without returning to the surface. Insects and seeds are consumed more in the summer months because they are readily available.

Pregnant mothers remain in the burrow after the other animals (one year old or older) have left. She searches for the resources she and her young will need once she gives birth. The young will remain with the mother until the next spring when she will most likely be pregnant again. 

 

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Bibliography

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, Menkhorst, P. and Knight, F. 2001.

The Pilliga Mouse staying out of the line of fire, Western Woodlands News, 8/9/04, http://www.npansw.org.au/web/journal/200202/features-mouse.htm.


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