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Saving Threatened Australian Rodents

FAME is providing funding to support the expansion of the Saving Threatened Australian Rodents (STAR) program giving at least three species of endangered Australian mice - the Smoky Mouse, the New Holland Mouse and the Chestnut Mouse - a better chance of survival.

Australia’s native rodents are among the least known but most important species in our environment:  they represent about 25% of all Australian mammal species.  They play a vital role in plant propagation, soil health and the overall function of the Australian environment. At least eight of Australia’s rodent species are extinct, many others are endangered, and FAME is determined to save what’s left.

In 2005 FAME helped set up the STAR captive breeding and research program in Bungendore, NSW. STAR began by observing native mice in the wild, at the same time breeding captive animals.  The first thing the program did was confirm that native mice must have protection from feral predators if they are to survive. 

Breeding the mice has been easy. The big problems have been funding the ongoing work, and finding a protected area where these precious animals can be safely released. Recently Mulligan’s Flat Woodlands Sanctuary in the ACT – just up the road from STAR - began an ambitious program to restore the original woodland habitat and bring back endangered native species like bettongs, bandicoots – and now captive bred endangered mice! 

Mulligan’s Flat is fenced and feral free. At the start of 2013, with the support of the ACT government, a few of STAR’s New Holland mice were released into Mulligan’s Flat as a trial.  Monitoring of these New Holland Mice took has shown that they have survived and adapted well to their new home,  proving that captive bred mice can survive in Mulligans Flat.

Your support will also help further develop the STAR program by:
• Obtaining government approval for an active recovery strategy for the Smoky Mouse
• Establishing a captive colony of the endangered Eastern Chestnut Mouse and begin releasing animals into Mulligan’s Flat Sanctuary as soon as possible.
• Maintaining the captive breeding facilities that make this vital work possible

Australia’s native rodents are the true ‘little Aussie battlers’ and they deserve our help.  Through STAR, and access to a safe haven at Mulligan’s Flat, we have a unique opportunity to give at least three species of endangered Australian mice - the Smoky Mouse, the New Holland Mouse, and the Chestnut Mouse - a better chance of survival.  With your help we’ll take full advantage of this -  please make your generous donation today.

Project Update: In Spring 2013, 10 New Holland Mice were returned to Mulligan's Flat. Surveys conducted in Autumn 2015 found that the New Holland Mice have settled into their new home and are now breeding in Mulligans Flat. This autumn, the next step in the STAR project plan will be taken with the Chestnut Mouse being introduced into Mulligans Flat.

Last updated December 2015