Nature conservation

Threatened species

Bolam's Mouse - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Pseudomys bolami
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017


Bolam’s Mouse is a small rodent weighing between 9 and 21 grams. Head and body length is between 50 and 80 millimetres and tail length 71 to 103 mm. The fur is a dull amber-brown to olive-brown with dark tips above, and white below. It has large ears and hind feet and a long, heavily furred tail. It is similar in appearance to the House Mouse but may be distinguished by its more prominent eyes, relatively longer ears and tail, lack of a musty odour and generally more slender appearance. The House Mouse can also be distinguished by the presence of a notch in the upper incisor and the female possessing five pairs of teats (Pseudomys species only possess two pairs of teats).


This species is found in southern Western Australia and South Australia, extending east into the south-western corner of NSW. It was collected by Krefft in Victoria in 1857 but has not been recorded in that state since. Records in NSW are centred on the Scotia Mallee including Tarawi Nature Reserve, Nanya Station, Scotia Sanctuary and surrounding properties. A smaller number of records have also been made on leasehold land to the south east of Mungo National Park. Subfossil remains are also known from Mutawintji National Park, 200km further north, and more recently, this species was trapped during surveys conducted to the east of Broken Hill. This record extended the distribution and identified new habitat for this species in NSW, although it is known from similar habitat in South Australia directly west of Broken Hill.

Habitat and ecology

  • Recorded in a wide variety of habitats, with a preference for chenopod shrubland plains or low mallee woodland where there is a developed understorey of Acacia, Dodonaea or Eremophila species. It seems to especially favour plains areas, spillways and along valley bottoms where loam or clay soils occur. It has been recorded in four broad vegetation types in Tarawi Nature Reserve: Mallee-spinifex, Mallee shrubland, Belah woodland and Mixed open shrubland/woodland.
  • Animals are nocturnal and use burrows for shelter. These are sometimes associated with rabbit warrens and abandoned goanna holes.
  • Diet consists of seeds, fruits, blossoms, grasses and herbs as well as invertebrates such as beetles and spiders. Increased capture rates have been made in areas with a high cover of bluebush (Maireana spp.), with the seeds recorded as a food source.
  • Breeding usually occurs in spring and early summer, but breeding can occur at any time of the year following favourable rainfall, with significant increases in populations following extended rain. Litters have a maximum size of six.
  • Long term monitoring at one site in South Australia has recorded low recapture rates, indicating a highly transient species and/or a lifespan of less than two years.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateSA Known None