Journal article

Diet of the silky mouse (Pseudomys apodemoides) and the heath rat (P. shortridgei) in a post-fire environment

Julian Di Stefano, Amanda Ashton, Alan York



Understanding the ecological effects of fire is important for biodiversity conservation in flammable ecosystems. To this end we quantified the winter and spring diet of silky mice (Pseudomys apodemoides) and heath rats (P. shortridgei) at 20 woodland sites ranging from 2 to 55 years post-fire. We tested the hypothesis that diets would differ (shift) between very recently burnt (2-3 years old) and mature (≥17 years old) parts of the landscape. Analyses based on faecal material collected in winter (June) and spring (October) demonstrated that both species ate a broad range of foods, but the diets of silky mice and heath rats differed substantially with respect to monocot, seed and invertebrate..

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Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded by the Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria and the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority. Richard Hill and Grant Tucker facilitated the field work, Laura Owen, Robert Morris, Helen Doherty, Cat Nield, Cara Reece, Eoghan O'Connor and Carolyn Marlow helped collect data, and Graham Hepworth provided statistical advice. The research was conducted under approval from the University of Melbourne's Animal Ethics Committee (register number 06142) and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries (permit number 10003954).