Distribution and habitat of the desert mouse (Pseudomys desertor) in Queensland Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Two systematic regional fauna surveys conducted in the central-north of the state, and an ancillary review of existing published data, identified many new localities and provided an opportunity to describe aspects of this species' ecology and habitat. As well as in typical Triodia grasslands, Pseudomys desertor was recorded in a wide range of sub-tropical savanna woodland, shrubland and grassland vegetation types, many within a zone with rainfall of 500–750 mm. In these higher-rainfall areas, average bodyweight was significantly larger than previously reported for arid-zone specimens. Generalised linear modelling was used to examine which environmental factors best explained the species' abundance, and ground cover was a consistent predictor across the two study areas. Despite occurring in sites mechanically cleared of trees, P. desertor was more abundant in those pastures with a high cover of native hummock grasses. Though superficially indicating a degree of tolerance of disturbance, the evidence suggests that P. desertor is a fire- and grazing-decreaser. Overall, P. desertor was most abundant in areas with the least historical grazing pressure and disturbance.

publication date

  • 2004

has subject area