The New Holland Mouse is very small, quite cute and
very vunerable. In fact, it is four steps away from extinction.
To prevent this from happening, fire is now being used to ensure
Anglesea is one of only four locations in Victoria
were the rare little marsupial is found. The other locations are
Wilson Promontory, Loch Sport and Providence Ponds. It is also found
Research has shown that the New Holland Mouse does
best in recently burnt heathland. A regular fire regime reduces
the dense undergrowth, thus allowing seed producing plants such
as 'wattles and peas' to grow, providing a reliable food supply.
After a fire, their numbers can build up quite quickly but as the
plants and animals return, their numbers can drop off just as quickly.
Through the efforts of the Department of Sustainability
& Environment (DSE), Parks Victoria, researchers, Deakin and
La Trobe Universities, Alcoa, Gippsland Water and community groups,
a recovery team has been put together to develop and implement a
conservation management program that will hopefully ensure the survival
of this little rodent.
An important part of the conservation management program
took place today, along Forest Road at the back of Anglesea. 35
Parks and DSE firefighters from Anglesea, Lorne and Port Campbell
along with their trucks, slip-ons and dozer, conducted a 93 hectare
As the fire controller, Lindsay explained, "the
main reason for this eco-burn is to improve the habitat for the
New Holland Mice. They live in areas which have been burnt 5 to
10 years previously. This fire will also benefit several rare orchids
including the Daddy-long-legs Caladenia filamentosa".
Parks Victoria plan another eco-burn early next month
in the O'Donahue area. Keep posted for further details.
Parks Victoria - 131 963 - http://www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/
Information about the New Holland Mouse