Xeromys myoides


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Xeromys myoides
Species Authority: Thomas, 1889
Common Name(s):
English False Water Rat, Water Mouse, False Swamp Rat
French Faux Rat D'Eau
Spanish Rata Bastarda De Agua
Taxonomic Notes: Preliminary morphological data suggest that Xeromys myoides may be composed of more than one species.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable B2ab(ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Winter, J., Woinarski, J. & Aplin, K.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Listed as Vulnerable because its area of occupancy is less than 2,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the area of occupancy, and the extent and quality of its habitat.
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Insufficiently Known (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Insufficiently Known (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This little-known species is present on the island of New Guinea (Papua New Guinea only) and in northern Australia. On New Guinea, it is known only from a few specimens collected in the south-west Trans-Fly River region. In northern Australia, it has been recorded from a number of coastal sites in Northern Territory (including Melville Island) and Queensland (including Fraser Island) (Gynther and Janetzki 2008). It is suspected to be present in other parts of Queensland (studies underway).
Australia; Papua New Guinea
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It appears to be a rare species that is patchily distributed within its extent of occurrence (Gynther and Janetzki 2008).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a nocturnal species, largely associated with mangrove swamps, but has additionally been recorded from saline grasslands (Gynther and Janetzki 2008). Females give birth to up to four young (Gynther and Janetzki 2008). Most habitat data are from Queensland. Queensland populations are found within inland edges of mangroves and on tidal flats. This species preys mostly on freshwater invertebrates, including crabs, pulmonates, and molluscs (Woinarski 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial; Freshwater

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is potentially threatened by the destruction of mangrove habitats, through reclamation projects and the development of marine aquaculture. Agriculture and development are a threat in Queensland. The species tends not to survive where there is development inland of mangrove areas. In the Northern Territory, habitat change due to overgrazing is a probable threat. Gynther and Janetzki (2008) name oil pollution, waste water treatment, acid sulphate contamination, alteration of natural hydrology, and chemical control of biting insects as major threats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is not known if this species is present in any protected areas. Protection of mangroves is a key conservation measure for the species. Further studies into the distribution, taxonomy, and threats to the species are needed.

Citation: Winter, J., Woinarski, J. & Aplin, K. 2008. Xeromys myoides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 March 2015.
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