Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, this species had a recovery plan in force at the time the legislation provided for the Minister to decide whether or not to have a recovery plan (19/2/2007).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Other EPBC Act Plans Fitzgerald Biosphere Recovery Plan: A Landscape Approach to Threatened Species and Ecological Communities Recovery and Biodiversity Conservation (Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC), 2012) [Recovery Plan].
Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzp) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzq) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
WA:Fauna Species Profiles - Dibbler Parantechinus apicalis (Gray, 1842) (Western Australia Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC), 2010g) [Information Sheet].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Endangered (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Endangered (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Parantechinus apicalis [313]
Family Dasyuridae:Polyprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gray,1842)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific Name: Parantechinus apicalis

Common Name: Dibbler

Other Names: Southern Dibbler

The Dibbler was first described as Phascogale apicalis by Grey (1842) but was reassigned soon afterwards to the Antechinus genus. The Antechinus was later reassessed and split into two, resulting in the Dibbler being placed in the newly created Parantechinus genus (Tate 1947, in Friend 2004). No subspecies have been described although mainland specimens are significantly larger than island animals and genetic studies suggest genetic differentiation between mainland and island populations (Friend 2004; Woolley 1991).

The Dibbler is a carnivorous marsupial which is brownish-grey above, freckled with white, and greyish-white tinged with yellow below. Dibblers are readily distinguished by the white rings around their eyes, a tapering, hairy tail, and the freckled appearance of its fur (Strahan 2004).

The male Dibbler can grow to 14 cm long (between head and body) and its tail can grow to 11.5 cm long. Males weigh up to 100 g while the slightly smaller female weighs up to 75 g (Strahan 2004).

The Dibbler was formerly widely distributed throughout south-western Australia (Woolley 1995b), with subfossil records from Zuytdorp Cliffs and Dirk Hartog Island in Shark Bay, south to Yanchep, and from Albany east to the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The most inland record (subfossil) is from Peak Charles, about 150 km north of Esperance (Maxwell et al 1996). Historical collections have been mainly confined to Western Australia, from the Moore River area around Perth, King George Sound (Albany) and the Pallinup River (formerly Salt River) east of Albany. Some collections may have also been made from an unknown location in South Australia (Maxwell et al. 1996).

The Dibbler is currently restricted to the Western Australian coastline near Jurien on three small offshore islands (Boullanger, Whitlock and Escape Islands), and a small number of widely scattered mainland sites (Fuller & Burbidge 1987; Maxwell et al. 1996; Moro 2003). Specimens have been collected irregularly in Fitzgerald River National Park (Muir 1985), Arpenteur Nature Reserve (Cheynes Beach), Waychinicup National Park, Torndirrup National Park and vacant Crown land near Ravensthorpe (Maxwell et al. 1996). No Dibblers were recorded in historically known localities during searches in 1981 (Woolley & Valente 1982). However, given the record of disappearances and rediscoveries, Dibblers may be present in other Western Australian locations. Additional locations may include western coastal areas between Lancelin and Dongara and, more likely, the south coast between Denmark and Israelite Bay (Friend 2004).

Following European settlement, the distribution of the Dibbler declined and it became confined to the western and southern coasts of Western Australia. While specimens were collected during the 1800s, by the late 19th century it was considered rare. While a specimen was collected in 1904 (Bencini et al 2001), it was in 1967 that the Dibbler was re-discovered in a survey at Cheyne Beach, Western Australia (Morcombe 1967). In 1985 Dibblers were found in Fitzgerald River National Park and two further populations were found on the Boullanger and Whitlock Islands off the Western Australian coast (Dickman 1986; Fuller & Burbidge 1987). Its current distribution represents a decline of around 90% of its former range (Moro 2003).

Boullanger and Whitlock Islands are separated by about 300 m of shallow water and are periodically linked by a sandbar. As such, Dibblers are probably able to move between the islands during periods of very low tide (Friend 2004; Wolfe et al. 2004).

A captive breeding program was initiated at Perth Zoo from four pairs of wild Dibblers captured from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands. Captive-bred individuals were released onto nearby Escape Island between 1998 and 2001 (Moro 1999; 2003). The first mainland translocation of Dibblers occurred in 2001 at Peniup, with individuals captive-bred from mainland stock (Friend 2004).

The total population size of the Dibbler is unknown. There is no information on the number of individuals inhabiting the mainland sites though some population estimates have been made for the three small offshore islands. It was estimated that 300 individuals inhabited Boullanger and Whitlock Islands in 1990 (Flannery 1990a) although by 1998 this estimate had dropped to 180 (Friend 2004). At least 131 individuals in the translocated population on Escape Island were known to be alive in 2000 though this dropped to 67 the following year (Moro 2003). Of these 67 individuals known to be alive in 2001, 63 were born on Escape Island, suggesting that the translocated population had bred successfully and that, as such, the population would increase (Moro 2003).

The Dibbler's status as "endangered" on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species was based on an inferred, observed, or projected continuing decline in the number of mature individuals in the population (AMMSG 1996).

Population numbers in many of Australia's small carnivorous marsupials (dasyurids) are affected by annual die-off of males, leading to extreme natural fluctuations in population numbers. However, the rate of die-off in Dibbler males, and thus the intensity of natural fluctuations, also fluctuates from year to year and between locations in response to resource availability.

The Dibbler occurs within a number of reserves: Fitzgerald River,Torndirrup, Peniup and Waychinicup National Parks. In addition, Boullanger, Whitlock and Escape Islands are designated Class A Nature Reserves under Western Australian environmental protection legislation.

Dibblers have been recorded over an extensive area and it is likely that they can occupy a diverse range of habitats. Dibblers seem to prefer vegetation with a dense canopy greater than 1 m high which has been unburnt for at least 10 years or more (Baczocha & Start 1996). In some locations, the presence of Proteaceous and Myrtaceous flowering shrubs may also be important (Maxwell et al. 1996).

Boullanger, Whitlock and Escape Islands have a Mediterranean climate characterised by hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters (Moro 2003; Wolfe et al. 2004). The Islands differ substantially in habitat types yet all support populations of Dibbler. Boullanger Island is almost entirely composed of sand, with the exception of a limestone headland. The vegetation is predominately low heath with a 50–100% cover, occurring in three vegetation types: open scrubland dominated by Acacia cyclops, Atriplex isatidea and Myoporum insulare; open heath habitat composed primarily of M. insulare, Olearia axillaris, Scaevola crassifolia, Rhaghodia baccata and A. cyclops; and low closed heath dominated by S. crassifolia, O. axillaris and M. insulare (Bencini et al. 2001). In contrast, Whitlock Island is a low limestone plateau covered with Atriplex cinerea dominated low closed heath (Bencini et al. 2001). Escape Island has extensive areas of limestone with areas of deep calcareous sands and a structurally-dense and diverse vegetation community dominated by S. crassifolia, R. baccata, Acacia rostellifera, O. axillaris and Acanthocarpus preisii (Moro 2003).

Trapping surveys found that the Dibbler uses all habitats on Boullanger Island yet, on Whitlock Island, significantly greater trapping success rates were recorded in the dunal scrubland dominated by Nitraria billardierei and foredune heath than in succulent heath (Bencini et al. 2001).

Mainland habitat is characterised by the presence of long-unburnt heathland, typified by sandy substrates and occasionally lateritic soils (Baczocha & Start 1996; Barrett 1998). This generalisation applies to records from Cheyne Beach, Torndirrup National Park and most records from Fitzgerald River National Park (Friend 2004).

The Dibbler's need for long-unburnt vegetation may be related to high invertebrate density in thick leaf litter accumulations or to the cover afforded by dense vegetation which protects against predators, including birds of prey and, at mainland sites, the introduced fox and feral cat (Friend 2004). In the absence of foxes, the Dibbler may occupy vegetation at an earlier stage of recovery after fire (Friend 2004).

Dibblers on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands often enter seabird burrows, although it is unclear whether this is for refuge, foraging or rest (Friend 2004).

Dibblers probably reach sexual maturity at 10 to 11 months of age (Woolley 1971). Life expectancy for males range from one to more than three years, depending on the incidence rate of male die-off (Mills & Bencini 2000; Wolfe et al. 2004). Female Dibblers may live for four years (Burbidge 2004b).

Like Australia's other small carnivorous marsupials (dasyurids), Dibblers are seasonal breeders. They breed in autumn with mating beginning in late March. The mating season is short and intense, typically lasting two to three weeks (Wolfe et al. 2004). Young may be born from early April to late May (Dickman & Braithwaite 1992). Litters may contain up to eight young, carried by the female in a shallow pouch (Moro 2003). Females produce one litter per year. Juveniles have been trapped from September in all populations (Friend 2004).

A peculiar feature of the dasyurids is the extremely high mortality rate of males following mating. This phenomenon is termed "facultative male die-off" and appears to be a natural adaptation to resource shortage, allowing the females to raise their young without competition from males (Mills & Bencini 2000). Dibblers appear to exhibit male die-off in some, but not all, years (Dickman & Braithwaite 1992; Woolley 1991). Mills and Bencini (2000) hypothesised that this was due to variation in habitat quality and environmental conditions between years or between sites. For example, in 1999 complete male die-off occurred on Boullanger but not on Whitlock Island. On the mainland there is evidence of males surviving well into their second year although no intensive population studies have been conducted (Friend 2004).

Analysis of Dibbler scats from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands showed that the diet is dominated by arthropods (65%) with some vegetable (25%) matter (Bencini et al. 2001). Scat analysis has identified beetles, cockroaches, grasshoppers, termites, ants and spiders in the diet of the Dibbler, as well as the remains of feathers and lizard scales (Bencini et al. 2001; Fuller & Burbidge 1987). Dibblers are also reported to feed on house mice (Mus musculus), which are abundant on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands, as well as vegetable material (Dickman 1986).

Plant matter was identified from approximately 25% of scats from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands, and it has been suggested that the proportion of plant matter eaten may vary seasonally or be dependent on the availability of other prey. Plant matter may also represent a source of water for the Dibbler as there are no free water sources on the islands (Bencini et al. 2001).

The daily movement patterns of captive Dibblers are strongly influenced by the time of day. They become active from the late afternoon until soon after dusk, and again from first light for about 2.5 hours (Morcombe 1967). Dibblers probably rest above ground during the day but may also use burrows (either natural or excavated by other species) (Friend 2004).

Radio-tracking of Dibblers in Fitzgerald River National Park showed that they occupy distinct but overlapping home ranges in summer and that they probably do not move far. Males occupy larger home ranges than females (Friend 2004).

Trapping is the primary method used to survey Dibbler populations. The Escape Island translocated population was surveyed using up to 100 Elliott aluminium folding traps (320 x 900 x 1 000 mm) spaced at approximately 20 m intervals. Traps were set along three rows that extended the entire length of the island. Trapping was conducted over three to four nights at key times of the year: pre and post breeding (February-April) and pre and post dispersal (September-November) (Moro 2003).

Elliott traps have been used successfully to trap Dibblers throughout their range, although radio-tracked individuals often avoided traps set within their home ranges (Friend 2004).

There are a number of threatening processes operating in the range of the Dibbler, many of which are likely to be affecting its survival. These include predation, fire, habitat degradation and destruction, diseases affecting food plants, competition with introduced mice and activities that might cause seabirds to abandon islands (Friend 2004; Wolfe et al. 2004).

Feral Predators
Introduced predators, such as foxes, prey on Dibblers. For instance, a radio-tracking study found the remains of a radio-collared Dibbler in fox scat in the Fitzgerald River National Park in 2001 (Friend 2004). The arrival of foxes in NSW in the 1920s coincides with the decline of Dibblers over much of their historical range. Likewise, cats are known to take Dibblers and are present throughout their mainland range (Woolley 1977). While feral cats and foxes are absent on the islands inhabited by the Dibbler, the possibility of their introduction poses a serious potential threat to the Dibbler (Friend 2004).

The majority of Dibblers have been found in areas free from fire for 10 years or longer. The Boullanger and Whitlock Islands, for example, have not been burnt in recent times (Friend 2004). It is possible that the presence of long-unburnt habitat becomes even more important to the Dibbler when predators, such as raptors, foxes and cats, are present, as such vegetation can provide dense cover and protection from predators. High intensity wildfires in heathland habitats remove all vegetation and restoration of dense cover following a wildfire can take decades in drought affected areas. Frequent or extensive fire in the range of the Dibbler must therefore be considered a threat (Friend 2004).

Habitat Modification
The distribution of the Dibbler declined dramatically following European settlement, with population numbers falling so low that it was considered extinct by 1904 (Bencini et al. 2001). Much of the distributional decline was probably due to extensive land clearing and modification of heathland habitat for farming and grazing.

Phytophthora Dieback
Disease in native plants caused by Phytophthora cinnamomi can extensively alter the structure and floristic composition of heath and mallee-heath communities (Friend 2004). The mainland habitats inhabited by Dibblers, particularly on the south coast, contain very susceptible plant species. The alteration of Dibbler heathland habitat by plant diseases must be considered a potential threat. On the islands, however, the highly calcareous soils and different plant communities make the introduction of P. cinnamomi less likely. Regardless, the transport of P. cinnamomi to islands should be minimised through rigorous application of simple hygiene measures (Friend 2004).

House Mice
Mice (Mus musculus) are abundant on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands and have probably co-existed with Dibblers for many years. Mice were first recorded on Boullanger Island in 1959–1961 and on Whitlock in 1985 (Ford 1963; Fuller & Burbidge 1987). While Dibblers are known to occasionally eat mice (Dickman 1986) the interactions between the two are unknown. Mice may compete for resources (food and space) with Dibblers and increase the risk of disease transmission and, as such, must be considered a potential threat to the long-term viability of the Dibbler (Friend 2004).

The importance of seabirds and seabird burrows to the Dibbler is currently being investigated. It appears that a complex set of interactions between seabirds and Dibblers affect the reproductive success of the Dibbler and influences the rate of facultative male die-off by increasing the level of resources available to Dibblers (Wolfe et al. 2004). Seabirds can significantly increase the availability of resources by increasing the concentration of nutrients in the soil, ultimately leading to an increase in the abundance of primary (plants) and secondary (plant eaters) consumers (Wolfe et al. 2004).

Boullanger and Whitlock Islands are both easily accessible by humans and subject to frequent visitation, making them susceptible to associated risks such as the introduction of pathogens, feral animals (especially rats), weeds and other pests (Burbidge 2004b; Friend 2004).

Given the very small size of Boullanger and Whitlock Islands (25 ha and 5.2 ha respectively) it is possible that a particularly severe storm, cyclone or drought could wipe out Dibbler populations on one or both of the islands (Friend 2004).

The Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend 2004) recommends the following recovery actions:

  • Monitor known populations and conduct surveys to locate further populations. The newly established Escape Island population should be monitored annually, unless there is some concern about the status of the population, when the frequency of surveying should increase.
  • Protect existing and re-introduced populations from threatening processes, including clarification of the interactions between Dibblers and House Mice.
  • Conduct fox control, and if appropriate, feral cat control, to protect mainland Dibbler populations.
  • Prevent establishment of exotic predators on islands inhabitated by Dibblers.
  • Investigate the desirability and feasibility of eradicating House Mice from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands.
  • Implement appropriate fire management to protect Dibbler populations.
  • Implement appropriate hygiene procedures in Phytophthora cinnamomi susceptible habitat used by Dibblers.
  • Establish a captive breeding program and translocate captive-bred individuals to suitable secure locations (three additional mainland locations are recommended). When considering future sites for translocation of the Dibbler, invertebrate surveys should be conducted to determine whether an area had sufficient diversity and number of invertebrates to support a population of Dibblers (Miller et al. 2003).
  • Community participation is strongly recommended for recovery activities, including monitoring existing and reintroduced populations, habitat protection, promoting public awareness of the Dibbler and its threatened status and canvassing communities for Dibbler sighting reports.

The following actions have been completed or are currently underway:

  • All Dibblers trapped since 1997 have been implanted with Trovan microchips for identification, and this practice will continue (Friend 2004).
  • More than 120 Dibblers were bred at Perth Zoo and raised to independence for translocation (Friend 2004).
  • 88 individuals were translocated to Escape Island and continue to be monitored (Burbidge 2004b; Moro 2003). The Escape Island population was monitored using radio-tracking and trapping techniques from 1998 to 2001. Surveys show that breeding and dispersal has successfully occurred, and wild-born Dibblers have entered the breeding population (Moro 2003). Escape Island is currently free from exotic predators and rodents, there are no terrestrial mammals to compete with the Dibbler, and the Island shows strong vegetation similarities with Boullanger and Whitlock Islands (Moro 2003). This conservation effort has given additional security to the species, at least in the short term, and is currently being managed by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land Management.
  • The first mainland translocation of Dibblers occurred in 2001 at Peniup, with individuals captive-bred from mainland stock (Friend 2004).
  • Fox control by aerial and ground baiting has been carried out under CALM's Western Shield aerial baiting program in the Fitzgerald River, Peniup and Waychinicup National Parks.
  • Surveys were carried out in the Fitzgerald River National Park for Dibblers, and found that the Dibbler population in the park has increased in number since the application of fox control (SCRIPT 2006).
  • Fire management has recently focused on providing low fuel buffers to break up large areas of long-unburnt vegetation - this vegetation is food for Dibblers and protection from predators (SCRIPT 2006). A number of Fire Management Plans have been prepared and adopted, which recognise the needs of Dibblers and other threatened fauna requiring long-unburnt vegetations (Friend 2004).
  • The five sites in the Fitzgerald River National Park at which Dibblers have been trapped in recent years continue to be monitored, and further searches for colonies in the area are undertaken. Positive recoveries have been followed up by trapping to determine abundance of Dibblers at a site (SCRIPT 2006).
  • Hygiene measures have been implemented for all management operations within Fitzgerald River National Park, Peniup and all other conservation reserves in CALM's South Coast Region in order to minimise the establishment of new Phytophthera infections and the spread of existing infections (Friend 2004).

Project Dieback - South Coast is implementing a program to tackle the issue of Phytophthora Dieback through the compilation of a Phytophthora Dieback Atlas (in partnership with WA Department of Environment and Conservation); listing of species susceptible to the disease in the South Coast region; delivery of awareness and understanding programs to all stakeholders through consultation and the development of a website ( This project has had an important community engagement component, including TAFE Great Southern Creative Industries students, the Dieback Response Group, the Dieback Consultative Council, the Dieback Working Group, Department of Environment and Conservation and the Murdoch University Centre for Phytophthora Science and Management (SCRIPT 2006).

The Dibbler (Parantichinus apicalis) Recovery Plan (2004) (Friend 2004) provides detailed management documentation for the Dibbler, as does the Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell et al. 1996).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Agriculture and Aquaculture:Land clearing, habitat fragmentation and/or habitat degradation Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat loss and modification due to clearance of native vegetation and pasture improvements The Impact of Global Warming on the Distribution of Threatened Vertebrates (ANZECC 1991) (Dexter, E.M., A.D. Chapman & J.R. Busby, 1995) [Report].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Southern Dibbler, Parantechinus apicalis, Interim Recovery Plan (Start, A.N., 1996) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Southern Dibbler, Parantechinus apicalis, Interim Recovery Plan (Start, A.N., 1996) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, competition and/or habitat degradation Mus musculus (House Mouse) Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Introduction of pathogens and resultant disease Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Vegetation and habitat loss caused by dieback Phytophthora cinnamomi Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) Recovery Plan 2003-2013 (Friend, T., 2004) [Recovery Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].

Australasian Marsupial & Monotreme Specialist Group (AMMSG) (1996). Parantechinus apicalis. In: IUCN 2006. In: 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. [Online]. Available from:

Baczocha, N. & A.N. Start (1996). Status and ecology of the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) in Western Australia. Half-yearly report. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Barrett, S. (1998). A biological survey of mountains in southern Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.

Bencini, R., C. McCulloch, H.R. Mills & A. Start (2001). Habitat and diet of the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) on two islands in Jurien Bay, Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 28:465-468.

Burbidge, A. (2004b). Threatened Animals of Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from:

Dickman, C.R. (1986). Return of the phantom dibbler. Australian Natural History. 22:33.

Dickman, C.R. & Braithwaite, R.W. (1992). Postmating mortality of males in the dasyurid marsupials, Dasyurus and Parantechinus. Journal of Mammalogy. 73:143-147.

Flannery, T. (1990a). Australia's Vanishing Mammals. Surrey Hills, Australia: Readers Digest Press.

Ford, J. (1963). The reptilian fauna of the islands between Dongara and Lancelin, Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist. 8 (6):135-142.

Fuller, P.J & Burbidge, A.A. (1987). Discovery of the dibbler, Parantechinus apicalis, on islands at Jurien Bay. Western Australian Naturalist. 16:177-181.

Gray, J.E. (1842). Description of two new species of Mammalia discovered in Australia by Captain George Grey, Governor of South Australia. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. (1) 9:39-42.

Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris (1996). The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. [Online]. Wildlife Australia, Environment Australia. Available from:

Miller, Susan, Roberta Bencini, Harriet Mills & Dorian Moro (2003). Food availability for the dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands, Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 30:649-654.

Mills, H.R. & Bencini, R. (2000). New evidence for facultative male die-off in island populations of dibblers, Parantechinus apicalis . Australian Journal of Zoology. 48:501-510.

Morcombe, M.K. (1967). The rediscovery after 83 years of the dibbler Antechinus apicalis (Marsupialia, Dasyuridae). Western Australian Naturalist. 10:102-111.

Moro, D. (1999). Our island home: dibbler recovery on islands off Western Australia. In: Newsletter of the Australian Mammal Society. November:42.

Moro, D. (2003). Translocation of captive-bread dibblers Parantechinus apicalis (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) to Escape Island, Western Australia. Biological Conservation. 111:305-315.

Muir, B.G. (1985). The dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis: Dasyuridae) found in Fitzgerald River National Park, Western Australia. Western Australian Naturalist. 16:48-51.

South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team (SCRIPT) Inc (2006). Annual Report 05-06. [Online]. Available from:

Strahan, R., ed. (2002). The Mammals of Australia, second edition. Sydney Australian Museum/Reed New Holland.

Wolfe, K.M., H.R. Mills, M.J. Garkaklis & R. Bencini (2004). Post-mating survival in a small marsupial is associated with nutrient inputs from seabirds. Ecology. 85(6):1740-1746.

Woolley, P.A. (1971). Observations on the reproductive biology of the Dibbler, Antechinus apicalis (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 54:99-102.

Woolley, P.A. (1977). In search of the Dibbler, Antechinus apicalis (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 59:111-117.

Woolley, P.A. (1991). Reproductive behaviour of captive Boullanger Island Dibblers, Parantechinus apicalis (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae). Wildlife Research. 18:157-163.

Woolley, P.A. (1995b). Southern dibbler, Parantechinus apicalis. In: Strahan, R., ed. The Mammals of Australia. Page(s) 72-73. Reed Books, Sydney.

Woolley, P.A. & Valente, A. (1982). The Dibbler, Parantechinus apicalis (Marsupialia:Dasyuridae) : failure to locate populations in four regions in the south of Western Australia. Australian Mammalogy. 5:241-245.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Parantechinus apicalis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:37:24 +1000.