Fenner in the News - New Holland mouse enclosure could help boost threatened species numbers

19 June 2022

A cohabitation program thought to increase the survival of threatening species is being trialled at Mulligans Flat, thanks to an early career researcher at the Australian National University.

Kiarrah Smith, a fourth-year PhD student, has designed mini safe havens inside the Gungahlin sanctuary, allowing New Holland mice and quolls to coexist.

The "leaky fence" design of the refuge areas allows the threatened native mice to move through the fence at their own time, learning to live with the carnivorous marsupial.

The researchers captured the mice on camera leaving the fenced-in structure over several months, providing evidence they'd learned to coexist.

Ms Smith said the mini safe havens could potentially provide gradual introduction into the wild for a broad range of ground dwelling animals.

"What I'd like to see happen in the future is for the safe havens to be tested outside of a sanctuary area, among cats and foxes," she said.

Read the full article at the Canberra Times.