The Smoky Mouse is a gentle little mouse with a two-toned pink and grey tail and very soft blue-grey fur which gives them their name. Once common across south-eastern Australia, the species is sadly edging closer towards extinction.

The Smoky Mouse eats seeds and fruit in summer, while underground fungi is on the winter menu. It lives in communal nests underground. 

To breed, they require stable habitat, with access to well-developed, diverse, and healthy understoreys. 

In Victoria, the Smoky Mouse is extinct in two out of five historically occupied locations, but can still be found in the Grampians, and in fragmented patches within the Victorian High Country and Alps. 

The major threats

Habitat loss and degradation are key threats to the Smoky Mouse, with climate change posing further risks to their remaining habitat. The mice are also very vulnerable to predation by feral cats and foxes. 

The plan for fighting extinction

Zoos Victoria monitor Smoky Mouse populations across the state with partners, tracking population health and shifts in their distribution. This helps us understand what assistance the species needs to survive into the future. 

With partners, we are also investigating the genetic health of the species to determine whether interventions are required.  

How you can help

  • Join the Safe Cat, Safe Wildlife community and learn about how to keep your cat safe and happy at home. 
  • Raise community awareness and support for the Smoky Mouse. 
  • Visit our zoos to support our work to fight extinction. 
  • Donate if you can. As we are a not-for-profit organisation, all donations go towards our conservation work. 
  • Discover more about local conservation events and join the growing number of wild activists taking action for local wildlife.

Is your classroom learning about the Smoky Mouse? 

Browse through our collection of animal teaching and learning resources for students. These include animal toolkits, e-books, Ask a Zoo Expert resources, video showcases and real-world examples to support the VCE Study Design

Population Trend:
Number left in the wild:
Fewer than 2,500

Conservation Status

  • LC
    Least Concern
  • NT
    Near Threatened
  • VU
  • EN
  • CR
    Critically Endangered
  • EW
    Extinct in the Wild
  • EX