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Onychogalea fraenata

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DIPROTODONTIA MACROPODIDAE

Scientific Name: Onychogalea fraenata
Species Authority: (Gould, 1841)
Common Name/s:
English Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, Merrin, Bridled Wallaby, Bridled Nail-tailed Wallaby
French Onychogale Bridé
Spanish Canguro Rabipelado Oriental

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: McKnight, M.
Reviewer/s: Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because the extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, all self-sustaining populations are within three locations, and there is a continuing decline in the quality of habitat due to introduced weeds. Populations might fluctuate naturally in response to rainfall or, alternatively, drought poses a major potential stochastic threat along with extreme fire and disease (the latter is not a proven threat, but a threat to small populations generally).
History:
1996 Endangered
1996 Endangered (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Endangered (IUCN 1990)
1988 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Endangered (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Endangered (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is endemic to Australia, where it occurs naturally in Taunton National Park (Scientific) near Dingo in central Queensland. Two self-sustaining translocated populations also exist: Idalia National Park (Queensland) and Avocet Nature Refuge (Queensland) (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005). There are two other recently translocated populations: BHP Threatened Species Sanctuary at Western Plains Zoo (New South Wales) (not mapped) and Scotia Sanctuary (New South Wales).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Queensland)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This is a rare species that probably numbers less than 1,100 mature individuals in the wild. The population at Taunton is stable (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005) or increasing (Evans and Gordon 2008) since the mid 1990s when it was at its lowest point of 450 individuals. The population at Taunton had risen following the exclusion of cattle to about 1,400 in December 1991 (Davidson 1991). Then a severe drought in the early 1990s reduced the population (Clancy and Porter 1994; Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005; Evans and Gordon 2008). More recently (2002/2003) another severe drought struck, and populations may periodically fluctuate in response to rainfall, or the droughts could major mark stochastic events.

The population at the Idalia is about 450 individuals (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005). There is no estimate for the size of the Avocet population, but it is said to be self-sustaining (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005). The recovery plan considers the Western Plains Zoo and Scotia populations as “intensively managed predator-free enclosures” (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005), and these would not be considered self-sustaining in terms of the IUCN criteria.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species inhabits open, edge habitats of eucalypt forest and brigalow scrub and grasses. Breeding can take place at any time of year, and in good conditions females may raise up to three young in a year (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Historically Bridled Nailtail Wallabies declined for a variety of reasons. In Queensland, competition with sheep and land clearance appear to have been the largest factors (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005; Evans and Gordon 2008). In the southern part of its range introduced rabbits might also have competed for resources (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005). Introduced predators probably had some impact on the species, but it is unclear to what degree. Foxes are capable of preying upon the species, especially the young. However, the largest declines of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies in Queensland pre-date the arrival of foxes and foxes are not rare or absent from their current locations (Evans and Gordon 2008). Foxes may have been more of a factor in the demise of the species in New South Wales, and the role played by introduced cats, if any, is largely unknown. Current threats to species include the decline in habitat quality due to invasive weeds, introduced predators (a threat because any loss to such a small population is major), and the potential risks from severe drought, extreme fire, and disease.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby is listed a threatened species under Australian law. It is currently known only from protected areas. A recovery plan has been developed for the 2005-2009 period (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005). It is listed on CITES Appendix I.

Recommendations from the recovery plan (Lundie-Jenkins and Lowry 2005), include: managing existing bridled nailtail wallaby populations to maintain or increase current population levels; monitoring existing and future translocated populations; further translocations; maintaining captive breeding populations; and greater community and stakeholder education and involvement.
Citation: McKnight, M. 2008. Onychogalea fraenata. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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