The New Holland Mouse is a native Australian rodent that once had a continuous population across the east coast of Australia, however this species’ distribution is now fragmented with declining populations across its range. The New Holland mouse can be distinguished from the house mouse by its larger ears and eyes and distinct lack of ‘mousey’ odour.
Inhabiting open heathland and coastal areas, the New Holland Mouse feeds predominantly on native plant seeds, leaves and fungi, making it a likely seed dispersal agent. More research is required to uncover this species’ population structure and role in seed dispersal.
New Holland Mice were once thought to be extinct. The species has now been classified as Endangered in Victoria and further investigation into the genetics is required to see how distinct these populations are from their counterparts in Tasmania and New South Wales.
The New Holland Mouse is increasingly under threat by:
Zoos Victoria is committed to improving the long-term future for the New Holland Mouse. We are currently investigating the distinctiveness of the Victorian populations and requirements for maintaining a captive breeding program for reintroduction.