The Konoom is an Australian native rodent with pale grey to black fur, a grey to white belly and ears and feet that are flesh-coloured with sparse white hair. A ring of dark hairs may be present around the eye. The length of individuals, including the tail, is between 180–250 mm. The tail is narrow, flexible, sparsely furred, and white to pale pinkish grey underneath with a narrow dark strip along its upper surface and up to 145 mm in length. The ears are 18–22 mm long and the hind feet 25–29 mm long. Adult weight varies widely between 25–86 g. Animals from the Grampians and Otway Range in western Victoria tend to be larger and darker than those from east of Melbourne and NSW.
Smoky Mouse |
Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Pseudomys fumeus
Droughts; which may become more severe under climate change; can intensify the impact of predation by restricting the reproductive output of Smoky Mouse populations (Short 2016). 1.2 Predation by Known Predation by foxes has been implicated in the foxes (Vulpes current decline and extinction of many terrestrial vulpes) mammals in Australia (Radford et al. 2018).
Periods of drought following fire are also likely to increase under climate change; compounding impacts to habitat and populations of Smoky Mouse.
Fire and climate change o Implement appropriate ecological burning regimes as determined by further research; in order to maintain a dense and diverse understorey in areas with known Smoky Mouse populations.
Fire can amplify the impacts of predation on small mammals by reducing ground cover; particularly following high intensity burns (Leahy et al. 2015).
Fire in a forest in south eastern Australia reduced understorey cover by more than 80 percent and resulted in a 5 fold increase in the occurrence of feral cats and foxes (Hradsky et al. 2017).
As with feral cats; fire can amplify the impacts of fox predation on small and medium sized mammals (Leahy et al. 2015 Hradsky et al. 2017). 1.3 Predation by Known Smoky Mouse remains have been detected in fox wild dogs current and wild dog scats (May Norton 1995 Broome (Canis McDonald 1997).
An increase in dingo activity familiaris) has been observed immediately following fire (Leahy et al. 2015).
It has been suggested that the understorey floristics and density at most Smoky Mouse sites in heath and dry forests can be maintained by fire regimes of moderate frequency (15 20; but up to 40; year intervals) and moderate intensity (Lane 1997 Ford et al. 2003).
More frequent fuel reduction burns (in response to perceived greater fire threat) could also present a threat to the Smoky Mouse if the resulting fire regime promotes habitat characteristics that are less suitable for the species (ACT Government 2013).
The bushfires will not have impacted all areas equally; with the pattern and intensity varying within the fire grounds.
Despite ongoing threats from invasive predators; fire and drought; populations have persisted in some areas for decades; and the two major populations (at the Grampians and Central Highlands) are likely to persist.
The primary threats to the species are predation by feral cats and foxes (impacts of predation may be magnified where too frequent or high intensity burns occur; and during drought periods); and habitat destruction from land clearance; logging and development activities.