Water Mouse (False Water Rat/Mangrove Mouse)
The water mouse is a nocturnal native rodent which is found in coastal habitats including saltmarsh,
saline grasslands, mangroves and coastal wetlands. Its known distribution is Proserpine to the
Queensland/New South Wales border. The species has also been recorded in the NT. The water mouse
has small eyes and small rounded ears. Its back has silky, slate-grey fur (sometimes spotted white), and its
belly is sharply defined with white fur. It has a short, sparsely haired tail, and weighs up to 50g. The water
mouse is carnivorous and feeds on small crabs, shellfish, mud lobsters and marine flatworms. It forages at
night at low tides, and its movements and habits are governed by the tidal cycles.
The water mouse typically lives above the high tide line and constructs nests. Some of the known nesting
habits are listed below:
large, free-standing, termitarium-like mounds of mud up to 60
Inconspicuous tunnels in the supra-littoral bank at the marine/
Slightly elevated ‘islands’ standing away from the supra-littoral
bank OR with the supra-littoral bank.
Within living or dead trees in the intertidal zones (often creating
walls with entrances and exits out of mud)
Conservation Act 1999, and the same under the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992.
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