Leggadina lakedownensis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Leggadina lakedownensis Watts, 1976
Common Name(s):
English Northern Short-tailed Mouse, Lakeland Downs Mouse
Taxonomic Notes: The Thevenard Island form was previously thought to be a distinct taxon found on islands, but research has shown that this is merely a larger form of the same species. Further taxonomic study may be warranted to consider the extent and implications of morphological variation across the species's extensive range.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-02-02
Assessor(s): Aplin, K., Burbidge, A.A., Morrison, K. & Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Listed as Least Concern because it has a wide distribution and presumed large population. It is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to northern Australia, where it occurs from Cape York Peninsula in the east to the Pilbara, in Western Australia, although the distribution is discontinuous (Moro and Kutt 2008). There are subpopulations present on Thevenard Island and Serrurier Island (the latter is a translocated population – intentionally introduced for conservation purposes), both in Western Australia (Lee 1995, Moro and Kutt 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The population is generally rare and scattered on the mainland with large annual fluctuations (Moro and Kutt 2008). In addition to its extensive range on the Australian mainland, it is known only from two islands (Moro and Kutt 2008).
There is a probable ongoing decline, with evidence from sampling in Kakadu NP where the species was more abundant in the period between 1988 and 1990 than the period 2001 to 2009 (Woinarski et al. 1992, 2010). In the Kimberley region (NW Australia), Start et al. (2012) considered that it was far more abundant in subfossil material than currently, suggesting an historic decline.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Continuing decline of mature individuals:Unknown
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a nocturnal species found in areas of open tussock and hummock grassland, acacia shrubland, and savanna woodland, on alluvial clay or sandy soils (Lee 1995; Moro and Kutt 2008). Females give birth to two litters annually. Litters contain up to four young and the gestation period lasts about 30 days (Moro and Kutt 2008).
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It is likely to be affected by habitat degradation due to changed fire regimes and pastoralism (Kutt and Kemp 2005, Woinarski et al. 2014). Predation by feral cats has also been reported (Kutt 2012); although there is limited information on impacts of predation on this species, the very similar congener L. forresti is highly selectively consumed by feral cats even when rare in the environment (Spencer et al. 2014).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is present in at least five protected areas, including the Kadadu National Park and the Thevenard Island Nature Reserve, however these offer relatively little protection from known or presumed threats.

Classifications [top]

2. Savanna -> 2.1. Savanna - Dry
3. Shrubland -> 3.5. Shrubland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry
4. Grassland -> 4.5. Grassland - Subtropical/Tropical Dry

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
  Successfully reintroduced or introduced beningly:Yes
In-Place Education
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 

7. Natural system modifications -> 7.1. Fire & fire suppression -> 7.1.1. Increase in fire frequency/intensity
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Slow, Significant Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 6 

8. Invasive and other problematic species, genes & diseases -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species/diseases -> 8.1.1. Unspecified species
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Majority (50-90%) ♦ severity:Rapid Declines ⇒ Impact score:Medium Impact: 7 

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Kutt, A.S. 2012. Feral cat (Felis catus) prey size and selectivity in north‐eastern Australia: implications for mammal conservation. Journal of Zoology 287: 292-300.

Kutt, A.S. and Kemp, J.E. 2005. Distribution, habitat and conservation status of Leggadina lakedownensis in Queensland. Australian Zoologist 33: 258-264.

Lee, A.K. 1995. The Action Plan for Australian Rodents. Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, Australia.

Moro, D. and Kutt, A. S. 2008. Northern Short-tailed Mouse, Leggadina lakedownensis. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 583-584. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Spencer, E.E., Crowther, M.S. and Dickman, C.R. 2014. Diet and prey selectivity of three species of sympatric mammalian predators in central Australia. Journal of Mammology 95: 1278-1288.

Start, A.N., Burbidge, A.A., McDowell, M.C., and McKenzie, N.L. 2012. The status of non-volant mammals along a rainfall gradient in the south-west Kimberley, Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy 34: 36-48.

Woinarski, J.C.Z., Armstrong, M., Brennan, K., Fisher, A., Griffiths, A.D., Hill, B., Milne, D.J., Palmer, C., Ward, S., Watson, M., Winderlich, S. and Young, S. 2010. Monitoring indicates rapid and severe decline of native small mammals in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Wildlife Research 37: 116-126.

Woinarski, J.C.Z., Braithwaite, R.W., Menkhorst, K.A., Griffin, S., Fisher, A., and Preece, N. 1992. Gradient analysis of the distribution of mammals in Stage III of Kakadu National Park, with a review of the distribution patterns of mammals across north-western Australia. Wildlife Research 19: 233-262.

Woinarski, J.C.Z., Burbidge, A.A. and Harrison, P.L. 2014. The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

Citation: Aplin, K., Burbidge, A.A., Morrison, K. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Leggadina lakedownensis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T11384A22459416. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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