Hastings River mouse Pseudomys oralis: a biological review

Graham H. Pyke, David G. Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The distribution and abundance of the Hastings River mouse (Pseudomys oralis) have declined since the Pleistocene, and it is now one of Australia's rarest mammals. It was presumed extinct until rediscovered in south-east Queensland in 1969. Because of this past, and apparently ongoing decline, as well as the nature and extent of known or presumed threats, P. oralis is considered threatened with extinction. Like other 'threatened' species, P. oralis is presently the subject of a recovery process, which aims to improve its conservation status. Essential to the development of a recovery strategy for any species is a reasonable knowledge of its biology and the nature and extent of threatening processes. While there has been considerable recent interest in the biology of P. oralis and possible threats to its populations, there has not been a comprehensive and detailed review of its biology. The present review indicates that the necessary information for developing a recovery strategy for P. oralis is lacking. Progress has been made in understanding habitat requirements and developing the ability to predict its presence or absence, as well as knowledge of the biology of individuals. However, we presently have little understanding of the population biology or community ecology of the species. We do not, in particular, know what factors determine the distribution and abundance of P. oralis, nor how these factors operate. In this situation we can potentially provide some protection for P. oralis through strategies that avoid or minimise human impacts on habitat areas, but a strategy aimed at species recovery is impossible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-176
Number of pages26
JournalAustralian Mammalogy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Pseudomys oralis
  • review
  • threatened
  • species recovery


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