Here's five fun facts about one of Australia’s rarest rodents - the Water Mouse (Xeromys Myoides).
- These rare mice can be found on the Sunshine Coast in Caloundra, Bli Bli and the Pumicestone Passage.
- The water mouse is a seafood connoisseur that lives next to coastal swamps and likes to feast on crab meat, small lobsters and shellfish. Fancy!
- These nocturnal critters use mud and leaves to build large mounds with intricate tunnels at the base of mangrove trees, which they use as a nest and shelter. These constructions look similar to termite mounds and are used by more than one Water Mouse family at a time.
- Last year, thanks to funds from the Environment Levy, Sunshine Coast Council purchased land in the mouth of Coochin Creek, and is home to the humble watermouse. The mice were detected as part of Council’s last fauna surveys in the reserve.
- The Water Mouse is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
How can you help these tiny critters and live in a wildlife friendly biosphere?
- If you are travelling in a motorised boat in an estuary, slow down and try not to create too much bank wash as it destroys the nests they so carefully built for their family.
- When you visit coastal swamps and mangroves, use mosquito nets rather than sprays, because aerial spraying of mosquito repellent causes toxins to accumulate in the crustaceans the Water Mouse eats.
This article Meet an unlikely seafood connoisseur has been supplied from the OurSC website and has been published here with permission.