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SPECIES Pseudomys fieldi

Author:Waite, 1896.
Citation:Rept. Horn Sci. Exped. Cent. Aust., Zool., 2: 403.
Common Name:Shark Bay Pseudomys
Type Locality:Australia, S Northern Territory, Alice Springs.
Distribution:Australia. The only natural living population occurs on Bernier Isl in Shark Bay, Western Australia; some animals from there were translocated to Doole Isl in Exmouth Gulf in 1993 (Morris and Robinson, 1995).
Status:CITES Appendix I as P. praeconis; U.S. ESA Endangered as P. fieldi and P. praeconis; IUCN Critically Endangered as P. fieldi, Vulnerable as P. praeconis.
Comments:Clustered with most other species of Pseudomys, judged by electrophoretic data (Baverstock et al., 1981, reported under praeconis). In the 1980s, fieldi was thought to be represented only by the holotype collected at Alice Springs in Northern Territory in 1895 and praeconis was known only from Bernier Isl. While listing fieldi as a species, Watts and Aslin (1981:171) wrote that "It is difficult to determine whether or not this represents a distinct species or a rather aberrant specimen of some other species." Subfossil samples have now been discovered along the west coast south of Shark Bay, and through Western Australia (the upper Gascoyne, northern Goldfields, and Gibson Desert) to the S region of Northern Territory. Study of this material and the holotypes of fieldi and praeconis indicates that all the samples represent the same species and that it once had an extensive mainland distribution before European settlement (Morris and Robinson, 1995).
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    praeconis Thomas, 1910

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