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Smoky Mouse

Smoky Mouse Rodent Week continues on the Dry Continent: With fewer than 2,500 individuals left in the wild, this endemic Australian mouse illustrates the peril facing many of unique species Down Under. Introduced predators (particularly feral cats, foxes, and wild dogs), changes to native plant communities, logging, and loss of habitat to development have all taken their toll on the Smoky Mouse since Europeans arrived. Fortunately, FAME—the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species—is working with local environmental agencies and researchers to shore up the Smoky Mouse and other endangered Australian rodents. They engage in vital educational work, providing this list of facts about the crucial role played by rodents in the ecosystem: * they are important in the life cycle of many native plants * they help spread the seeds of fruiting plants * like Potoroos and Bandicoots, native rodents help keep eucalyptus and other trees healthy by spreading the spores of fungal species that these native plants need to survive * they are a major food for quolls, owls and other native predators * native mice are never pests like the introduced mouse, and they do not exist outside natural habitats * native rodents are a key part of every type of Australian habitat: on the ground, in the trees, and in the water * native rodents do not transmit diseases to humans like introduced species * at least eight species of native Australian rodent are extinct, and the majority of south-eastern species are rare or endangered FAME is also helping to establish colonies of the Smoky Mouse and other endangered rodents at Waratah Park Sanctuary in New South Wales, providing local schools with native rodent breeding kits, and monitoring populations in the wild. To help FAME help the Smoky Mouse, consider a donation or a membership.
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