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Mice are found worldwide and the introduced house mouse probably came to Australia with the First Fleet. Mice are closely associated with human activity and are now distributed throughout the continent, especially in agricultural and urban areas.
Normally population levels are relatively low, however, when conditions are favourable mice numbers can increase exponentially to plague proportions and they become a serious pest. Similar plagues are uncommon in other countries.
The earliest reported mouse plague in Australia was in 1917 on the Darling Downs in Queensland and they have been occurring, with increasing frequency, ever since. Mouse plagues now erupt in the grain growing regions of Australia on average every three years, causing massive disruption to communities and losses to farmers.
In this video Steve Henry talks about mouse monitoring, modelling and using the MouseAlert website and app to track progress: www.mousealert.org.au