SPECIES: Xeromys myoides — Water Mouse, False Water Rat, Yirrkoo
The Water Mouse - previously named the False Water Rat - is one of Australia's rarest rodents. Equipped with water-repellent silky fur, the Water Mouse - or Yirrkoo - has small round ears and a white-haired, ringed tail. They are mostly nocturnal and are quite the expert nest builder. Their range of nest-building-capabilities includes mud plastering, construction inside tree hollows and free-standing mounds.
The Water Mouse is found in three coastal regions in northern Australia - NT, central south and south-east Qld. The population estimate is hard to say, it could be 1,000 or it could be closer to 10,000. Threats include degradation of habitat (due to urban development), fragmentation, weeds and predatuion (by foxes, feral cats and pigs).