Onychogalea lunata 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Macropodidae

Scientific Name: Onychogalea lunata (Gould, 1841)
Common Name(s):
English Crescent Nailtail Wallaby
French Onychogale Croissant, Wallaby À Queue Cornée
Spanish Canguro Rabipelado Occidental
Taxonomic Notes: No subspecies are recognised

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Extinct ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2012-12-31
Assessor(s): Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Contributor(s): Johnson, K. & Start, T.
There have been no specimens or reliable sight records since the 1940s.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby was widespread in semi-arid south-western Australia, in the western deserts of Western Australia, the Northern Territory and South Australia, in south-western New South Wales and south-eastern South Australia (Burbidge 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Australia (New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:It is extinct.

The Crescent Nail-tail Wallaby was apparently abundant in the Western Australian wheatbelt in the early 1900s as Guy Shortridge collected 23 specimens for the British Museum from near Pingelly and Wagin (Burbidge 2008).

Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

John Gilbert, who collected specimens for John Gould in the 1830s, noted that it was ‘found in the gum forests of the interior of Western Australia, where there are patches of thick scrub and dense thickets, in the open glades intervening between which it is occasionally seen sunning itself, but at the slightest alarm immediately takes itself to the shelter of the thick scrub’ (Gould 1863). (Gilbert’s ‘forests’ would today be termed woodlands.) John Gilbert reported to Gould (1863) that ‘it makes no nest, but forms a hollow in the soft ground beneath a thick brush in which it lies during the heat of the day’. Bruce Leake, an early settler of Kellerberrin, reported that it inhabited open timbered country and that when chased would make for a tree with a hollow in the bottom and clamber up the sides until it got some distance up into the tree (Leake 1962).

Aboriginal people from the western deserts recalled that it inhabited most types of country, including stony hills, and was particularly abundant in mulga (Acacia aneura) country. They said it ate grass and sheltered lying on its side under a low shady tree or shrub (Burbidge et al. 1988). Aboriginal people from the Flinders Ranges of South Australia recalled that it lived throughout the ranges and on the adjacent plains (Tunbridge 1991).

Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species was probably extirpated by predation from introduced foxes and cats. Habitat degradation, including changing fire regimes and the impact of rabbits and introduced stock, may have had an impact. In part of their range (south-western Western Australia and parts of New South Wales), pastoral expansion leading to habitat degradation, mainly by sheep, was likely to have been detrimental to the species.

There is evidence for epizootic disease as the primary factor, but probably interacting with drought and predation by feral cats as secondary factors, in decline and extinction of many mammal species in WA; many of these declined before the arrival of foxes; however, this epizootic did not greatly affect arid zone mammals (Abbott 2006)

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is extinct.

Citation: Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Onychogalea lunata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T15331A21957917. . Downloaded on 19 January 2018.
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