Hastings River mice found clinging to pepples

Clinging onto pebbles in a puddle of water, these two tiny critters were rescued just north of Nimbin by Felix a week ago.

Obviously too young to survive on their own Felix called WIRES.

They have since been  identified as Hastings River mice, an endangered species due to loss of habitat.

Once thought to be extinct, the Hastings River mouse  has a patchy distribution in suitable habitat of coastal New South Wales and South-eastern Queensland at altitudes between 250 m and 1250 m.

These small  native rodents may at first glance look like feral mice, but if you look closer, they are very different.

The Hastings River mouse have a strongly rounded snout, large bulging eyes surrounded by a black eye-ring. Their fur is brownish-grey above, buff to greyish-white below and their feet are white.

As adults they will have a head-and-body length of about 17 cm. Their tail will be furred and white on the underside, approximately 15 cm long, obviously shorter than their body length. 

Being nocturnal they shelter during the day in hollow logs, tree cavities, under rock piles, in epiphytes or underground.

At night they come out to feed on  seeds, herb foliage and stems, insects and fungi.

WIRES volunteer Josef is caring for these remarkable little orphans, they are reaching a stage of development where their eyes should finally open within a few days.

Once they are old enough to fend for themselves they will be released back to the wild, giving them the opportunity to help preserve their species.

Thank you Felix for saving these very special little natives and for calling WIRES.

 

Pictures by Josef Kohlmetz