Big-eared hopping mouse
|Big-eared hopping mouse|
The big-eared hopping mouse (Notomys macrotis) is an extinct species of mouse, which lived in the Moore River area of south-western Australia. The big-eared hopping mouse was a small, rat-sized animal resembling a tiny kangaroo. It had large eyes and ears with a brush-tipped tail (Breed and Ford). It moved on its four legs or by bounding upon its enlarged, padded, hind feet. They mainly lived in sand dunes or nests made of leaves and other organic materials. The big-eared hopping mouse was among many hopping mice to be extinct. Of the six taxa with ranges limited to Western Australia, five are considered threatened or vulnerable and one, the big-eared hopping mouse, is extinct. Under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act of 1950, the hopping mouse is listed as “fauna presumed to be extinct” and under Commonwealth legislation, simply “extinct”. The last record dates from 19 July 1843 and was collected in Perth around the Moore River and King George’s Sound by John Gilbert, who was employed by John Gould. Gilbert focused primarily on rodent species, but collected several rodent species, including Notomys macrotis. It is known from two damaged specimens held in the Natural History Museum, London.
Seven species of native Australian rodent have become extinct and several others have significantly declined in numbers since the settlement of Europeans in Australia. These Australian rodents are 48% of the total mammals extinct in Western Africa (Morris). The hopping mouse was probably the first Australian mammal to succumb to European settlers. Hopping mice are vulnerable to agriculture and pastoralism, as well as introduced cats and foxes. It had no defenses against Australia's introduced species. This mouse's extinction can be shown as a ramification of environmental alteration by humans.
Notomys macrotis is closely related to the fawn hopping mouse, Notomys cervinus, of the central Australian region.
- Webb, S. 2008 (August): Megafauna demography and late Quaternary climatic change in Australia: A predisposition to extinction. Boreas, Vol. 37, pp. 329–345.
- William Z. Lidicker, J.H. Calaby, A.K. Lee. 1989 Rodents: A World Survey of Species of Conservation Concern. IUCN, pp. 53–54.
- Morris, K.D. "Csiro Publishing." Csiro Publishing. 27. (2000): n. page. Web. 25 Oct. 2012. 
- Bill Breed and Fred Ford. Native Mice and Rats. Australia : CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2007. Print.
- Morris, K. & Burbidge, A. (2008). Notomys macrotis. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 6 January 2009.
- "The status and conservation of native rodents in Western Australia".
- http://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=yio4AAAAIAAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA231&dq=Notomys+Macrotis&ots=0TJsgxiK9Q&sig=Ze4yjwFi-531NTRO0w78OwQ-5_o#v=onepage&q=Notomys%20Macrotis&f=false. Missing or empty
- Breed and Ford, Bill and Fres (2007). Native Mice and Rats. Australia: CSIRO PUBLISHING.
- Morris, K.D. (2000). Csiro Publishing. Csiro Publishing.
- Webb, S (2008). Megafauna demography and late Quaternary climatic change in Australia: A predisposition to extinction. Boreas. Australia: Vol. 37.
- Lidicker, J.H. Calaby, A.K. Lee. 1989 Rodents: A World Survey of Species of Conservation Concern. IUCN.
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