Nature conservation

Threatened species

Smoky 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 fumeus
Conservation status in NSW: Critically Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Gazetted date: 24 Sep 2010
Profile last updated: 22 Nov 2021


The Smoky Mouse is similar in size to a small rat, with a head and body length averaging about 90 mm and a tail averaging 140 mm. The average adult weight is 52 grams (ranging between 38 - 68 grams). The fur is fine, soft, pale-grey to bluish-grey above, with a grey to white belly and a ring of dark hairs around the eye. The tail is long, narrow and sparsely furred, mostly pale to pinkish, with a narrow, dark stripe along the upper surface.


The Smoky Mouse is currently limited to a small number of sites in western, southern and eastern Victoria, south-east NSW and the ACT. In NSW there are 3 records from Kosciuszko National Park and 2 records adjacent to the park in Bondo and Ingbyra State Forests; the remainder are centred around Mt Poole, Nullica State Forest and the adjoining South East Forests National Park.

Habitat and ecology

  • The Smoky Mouse appears to prefer heath habitat on ridge tops and slopes in sclerophyll forest, heathland and open-forest from the coast (in Victoria) to sub-alpine regions of up to 1800 metres, but sometimes occurs in ferny gullies.
  • Seeds and fruits from leguminous shrubs form the main summer and autumn diet, with some invertebrates, eg., Bogong Moths in the high country. Hypogeal (truffle-like) fungi predominate in winter and spring, with some flowers, seeds and soil invertebrates.
  • May occur singly, as pairs or small communal groups based around patches of heath, sometimes comprising a male and up to five females sharing a burrow system.
  • Breeding is in spring with one or two litters produced of up to four young.
  • Nesting burrows have been found in rocky localities among tree roots and under the skirts of Grass Trees Xanthorrhoea spp.
  • The persistence of colonies appears to be very ephemeral. It is not known how much this is due to natural fluctuations in food availability, but predation from feral carnivores appears to be implicated.

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
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Known None
Ocean - Other StateSouthern Australian Coastal Waters Known None
Other StateACT Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Predicted None