Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes
Wildlife Australia, December 1996
ISBN 0 6422 1395 X
This Action Plan lists 16 taxa as Extinct (EX), one as Extinct in the Wild (EW), five as Critically Endangered (CR), 17 as Endangered (EN), 31 as Vulnerable (VU), one as Lower Risk (conservation dependent) (LR(cd)), 41 as Lower Risk (near threatened) (LR(nt)), and three as Data Deficient (DD).
The proportion of the total number of taxa in each category is EX - 7.7%, EW - 0.5%, CR - 2.4%, EN - 8.1%, VU - 14.8%, LR(cd) - 0.5%, LR(nt) - 19.6%, DD - 1.4%. The proportion of threatened taxa (CR + EN + VU) of the total number of extant taxa (193) is 27.5%.
This Action Plan highlights the extraordinarily high proportion of Australian marsupials that are threatened with extinction. The main causes of extinction and decline in marsupials have been identified and include the introduction to Australia of predators such as the Red Fox and Feral Cat, the introduction of feral herbivores such as the Rabbit, habitat destruction through land clearing and changed fire regimes.
However, the Action Plan also shows that there have been significant improvements in the status of some species over the past decade through scientific research, and habitat and feral predator management. In the 1992 Action Plan, the Woylie (or Brush-tailed Bettong) was listed as Endangered; in this Action Plan it is listed as Lower Risk (conservation dependent) because its numbers and extent of occurrence have increased markedly through fox control and translocations. As well, knowledge about the ecology and conservation requirements of many taxa have greatly improved in recent years. Other significant changes from the 1992 Action Plan include the Numbat and Chuditch (Endangered to Vulnerable) also due to fox control and translocations.
This Action Plan, through the Recovery Outlines and Taxon Summaries, shows what needs to be done to conserve Australia's marsupials and monotremes. In most cases, what needs to be done is clear; what is needed is the commitment and resources to carry out the necessary work.
Abbott I. and Burbidge A.A. 1995. The occurrence of mammal species on the islands of Australia: a summary of existing knowledge. CALMScience 1(3), 259-324.
Baynes A. 1987. The original mammal fauna of the Nullarbor and southern peripheral regions. Pp. 139-152 in N.L. McKenzie and A.C. Robinson (Eds) A biological survey of the Nullarbor region, South and Western Australia. Government Printer, Adelaide.
Burbidge A. (Ed.) 1989. Australian and New Zealand islands: nature conservation values and management. Occasional paper 2/89. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Perth.
Burbidge A.A., Johnson K.A., Fuller P.J. and Southgate R.I. 1988. Aboriginal knowledge of the mammals of the central deserts of Australia. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 9-39.
Burbidge A.A. and McKenzie N.L. 1989. Patterns in the modern decline of Western Australia's vertebrate fauna: causes and conservation implications. Biological Conservation 50, 143-198.
Calaby J.H. 1971. The status of Australian Macropodidae. Australian Zoologist 16, 17-29.
Corbett L.K. 1995. Dingo Canis lupus dingo. Pp. 696-698 in R. Strahan (Ed.) The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Sydney.
Giles J.R. and Lim L. 1987. Conservation of the endangered native species of New South Wales: an assessment of current status, threats and requirements for maintenance of wildlife populations. Pp. 90-100 in M. Hicks and P. Eiser (Eds) The Conservation of Threatened Species and Their Habitats. Australian Committee for IUCN, Occasional Papers 2..
Groombridge B. (Ed.) 1993. 1994 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.
Johnson K.A., Burbidge A.A. and McKenzie N.L. 1989. Australian Macropodoidea: causes of decline and future research and management. Pp 641-657 in: Kangaroos, wallabies and rat-kangaroos eds G.C. Grigg, P.J. Jarman and I.D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney.
Kennedy M. (compiler) 1992. Australasian Marsupials and Monotremes; An Action Plan for their conservation. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.
Kitchener D.J., Chapman A. and Muir B.G. 1980. The conservation value for mammals of reserves in the Western Australian wheatbelt. Biological Conservation 18, 179-207.
Millsap B.A., Gore J.A., Runde D.E. and Cerulean, S.I. 1990. Setting priorities for the conservation of fish and wildlife species in Florida. Wildlife Monographs 111, 1-57.
Morton S.R. 1990. The impact of European settlement on the vertebrate animals of arid Australia: a conceptual model. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia 16, 201-213.
Morton S.R. and Baynes A. 1985. Small mammal assemblages in arid Australia: a reappraisal. Australian Mammalogy 8, 159-169.
Robinson A.C. and Young M.C. 1983. The Toolache Wallaby Macropus greyi Waterhouse. Department of Environment and Planning Special Publications No. 2. Department of Environment and Planning, Adelaide.
Smith S.J. 1981. The Tasmanian tiger 1980. Wildlife Division Technical Report 81/1. National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart.