The status and conservation of native rodents in Western Australia
K. D. Morris
27(4) 405 - 419
AbstractThis paper examines the conservation status of Western Australia’s native rodent fauna using IUCN criteria and compares this with their current status under State and Commonwealth legislation, as well as that recommended in the Rodent Action Plan. Of the 35 native rodent taxa known in Western Australia, four (11%) are currently listed as extinct, and six (17%) as threatened under Western Australian legislation. Nine are listed as threatened under Commonwealth legislation. It is proposed that two, currently unlisted, island sub-species should be regarded as threatened. Some decreases in conservation status are also proposed. Predation by feral cats, habitat destruction and the use of surface shelter structures are suggested as primary factors in the decline of native rodents. Conservation programs are underway for most threatened taxa in Western Australia, including the implementation of recovery plans for the Shark Bay mouse and greater stick-nest rat. The heath rat is the only threatened rodent lacking a conservation program in Western Australia. The work planned or required for rodent conservation is presented and includes survey for the critically endangered central rock-rat, and translocation programs for other threatened taxa. The distribution of most taxa is relatively well known; however, there is a need to commence, or complete, taxonomic assessment of some.
© CSIRO 2000