Notomys cervinus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Notomys cervinus (Gould, 1853)
Common Name(s):
English Fawn Hopping-mouse
Taxonomic Notes:

No subspecies are recognised.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2012-12-31
Assessor(s): Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Canty, P.
The Fawn Hopping-mouse is subject to extreme fluctuations as the population size varies by more than one order of magnitude due to fluctuating rainfall and is 4,500 or lower during drought; however, there is little evidence of an ongoing decline. It almost qualifies under criterion C2b.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

The Fawn Hopping-mouse is now endemic to the Channel Country Biogeographic Region spanning north-eastern South Australia and south-western Queensland and immediately adjacent areas. While there are two 2006 records from central Queensland near Tambo, the species' range is currently largely restricted to ca 25% of the Channel Country bioregion. Formerly it was more widespread, including most of the Lake Eyre Basin, southern Northern Territory, and the eastern edge of the Nullarbor Plain. Targeted surveys in south-eastern Northern Territory in 2008 and 2009 failed to locate it (S. Ward pers. comm).

Subfossils are known from near Madura on the Nullarbor Plain of Western Australia, the Flinders Ranges of South Australia (Watts and Aslin 1981) and Mootwingee National Park, New South Wales (Ellis 1993). Burbidge et al. (2009), using subfossil, historical and modern data, recorded it in six IBRA (Interim Bioregionalisation for Australia) bioregions, and stated that it was extinct in three and declined or seriously declined in two. The overall decline of the species from its pre-European area of occupancy is higher than 50% since the 1950s (Brandle et al. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland, South Australia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:276Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):No
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:85408
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:No
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The Fawn Hopping-mouse is sparsely scattered in suitable habitat (Breed 2008). Exceptional rainfall events followed by high plant productivity result in elevated population levels probably by at least an order of magnitude (Canty and Brandle 2008). If there is a continuing decline it is likely to be the result of local extinctions from isolated suitable habitat patches during prolonged dry periods. Brandle et al. (2008) used densities of 0.25-10 animals/km² estimated from the field records of Canty and Brandle (2008) and the extant potential area of occupancy of 18,000 km² to estimate minimum and maximum population size. The result was a range of 4,500-180,000 individuals depending on seasonal conditions. The number of mature individuals would be lower, particularly during population growth after high rainfall.

Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:4500-180000Continuing decline of mature individuals:No
Extreme fluctuations:YesPopulation severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The Fawn Hopping-mouse is largely restricted to gibber plains and alluvial flats. It spends the daytime in a burrow either in sand patches or in gibber or claypans, with the last two presumably dug when the soil is soft after rain. Its diet consists mainly of seeds, but also includes insects and green grass, when available. It utilises succulent, salt-adapted plants around the edges of claypans as a source of water (Breed 2008).

There are no data on age at first breeding or longevity. Other species of Notomys can breed within a few months and live to 5.3 to 6.4 years of age (AnAge 2012). Generation length is here assumed to be 2.5 years.

Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):2.5
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: Notomys cerninus is not utilized

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The major threat is predation by feral Domestic Cats (Felis catus; moderate, entire range), Red Foxes (Vulpes vulpes; minor, entire range) and raptors (minor, entire range). Cats take rodents of this size and hyperpredation has been linked to decline in rodents in low productivity landscapes (Smith and Quin 1996); however, Cats are relatively rare in Fawn Hopping-mouse habitat (Brandle et al. 2008) and the species has survived Cat predation for a long time. Fox predation of small rodents occurs but impact unquantified. Construction of fences and other elevated structures provides perches for predatory birds (P. Canty pers. comm).

Habitat degradation (including trampling of burrows) and resource depletion by livestock and feral herbivores (moderate, most of range) represent another threat: excessive trampling by domestic and feral ungulates can severely degrade the vegetated patches of sand in which this species burrows; this leads to de-stabilisation of these areas making them prone to wind and water erosion (Canty and Brandle 2008); higher stocking rates for sheep and cattle prior to 1950 may have been a significant factor in their historical decline; placement of artificial water points in areas of prime habitat may be a continuing threat to some populations.

At least road construction (minor, minor part of range): roads tend to traverse gibber pavement and road building material is harvested from gibbers (P. Canty pers. comm).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There is no recovery plan and no specific management for this species.

Citation: Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Notomys cervinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T14868A22401250. . Downloaded on 20 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided