Hastings River Mouse found where never before

An endangered mouse has been spotted in two new Northern Tablelands locations, the first time it’s been recorded post bushfires anywhere in the state.

A team of ecologists, National Parks and Wildlife Service and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services experts sighted the Hastings River Mouse and several other threatened species during post fire surveys.

Piers Thomas, National Parks and Wildlife Service said species like the Hastings River Mouse were thought to have been hard hit by the bushfires and the sightings were a welcome sign of recovery.

“The fact we found the Hastings River Mouse in Mummel Gulf National Park is particularly pleasing as we have never recorded one at this location before. It was also the first record for any area in NSW post bushfires.

To then record another one in Cottan-bimbang National Park was really reassuring.

It is a relief that there are still a few of these special animals about. We now need to work hard to make sure they are looked after,” said Piers.

Euan Belson from Northern Tablelands Local Land Services considers the findings insightful and plans to use the results of the survey to make decisions in the future.

“Thanks to National Parks and Wildlife Service, we have learnt an enormous amount about the ecology of parks on the eastern fall. We are now better equipped to work with landholders to conduct surveys on-farm and support them to protect habitat and boost the recovery of endangered species on private land,” said Euan.

“The surveys are giving us insights into the effects of the recent bushfires, how the landscape is recovering and how we can make investment and management decisions to improve habitat and, ultimately, endangered species survival.

“It is important that we have havens for these endangered animals – that we can preserve their habitat and help farmers with fire protection to minimise the likelihood of being burnt out again,” said Euan.

The surveys undertaken in Carrai, Mummel Gulf, Cottan-bimbang and Werrikimbe National Parks, showed encouraging results for some species. Significant finds that rely on large, intact forest included: Greater Gliders; Powerful, Masked and Sooty Owls; New Holland Mice; Yellow-bellied Gliders; Sphagnum, Barred and Davies Tree Frogs; Eastern False Pipistrelle bats; Eastern Pygmy Possums and the Rufous Scrub-bird.

This project is supported by NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Northern Tablelands Local Land Services, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Media contact: Northern Tablelands Local Land Services - Annabelle Monie on 0429 626 326 or National Parks and Wildlife Service - Jacki Roberts on 02 9995 5347.

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