Comments on this recovery plan closed 30 September 2022. The documents below remain available for reference only.
You are invited to comment on this draft national recovery plan in accordance with the provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) by 30 September 2022.
The draft National Recovery Plan for the Water Mouse (Xeromys myoides) was prepared by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and is proposed to be made as the national recovery plan for this species under the EPBC Act.
The water mouse is a cryptic small mammal with a broad range across coastal northern and eastern Australia. Most recorded locations are along the central and southern Queensland coast and in-shore islands. A few individuals have been recorded from Cairns, dispersed locations across the Top End of the Northern Territory including the Tiwi Islands, and in southern New Guinea. The water mouse is likely to occur in intermediary coastal areas such as the Gulf of Carpentaria and coastal Cape York, and possibly also along the Kimberley coast.
The water mouse is listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act. The primary threat to its survival is loss and fragmentation of habitat due to coastal development, particularly along the central and southern Queensland coast. This will be exacerbated by sea-level rise causing coastal habitat to be squeezed against the built environment as climate change progresses. Coastal developments also increase the risk of water mouse habitat degradation from altered hydrology, exposure of acid sulfate soils, recreational activities (e.g. water vessel wash, quad bikes), excessive groundwater extraction, chemical leaching, and insecticide spray for mosquito control.
Other significant threats to the water mouse include damage to critical shelters and predation by European red foxes, feral pigs and cats, mangrove dieback and saltwater intrusion, loss of cover and damage to critical shelters by cattle, fire and buffalo, cropping and aquaculture, and oil spills. As climate change progresses, the water mouse may also be threatened by prolonged inundation from severe cyclone tidal surges and extreme seasonal flooding in tropical northern Australia. The risk level for these threats varies significantly across the broad water mouse distribution.
This draft national recovery plan outlines a framework, partners and proposed actions to be implemented over the next ten years to stabilise water mouse populations. The draft actions are supported by detailed information about water mouse significance, ecology, distribution, habitat, threats, population trends, and management actions currently being implemented. The proposed actions include priorities, timeframes and primary funding sources, as well as anticipated outcomes.
How can I get involved?
Read the draft recovery plan
Send your comments
The public comment period closes 30 September 2022.
If you wish to comment on this draft plan, please send your comments, quoting the title of the plan, to:
Protected Species and Communities Branch
Biodiversity Conservation Division
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Your views are being sought by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for the purpose of informing the Minister for the Environment on the Draft National Water Mouse Recovery Plan.
Personal information that you provide will only be used for these purposes. Personal information may be disclosed to employees of Australian Government agencies assisting the Minister for the purposes outlined above. Contents of your submission may be included in subsequent publications of the recovery plan.