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Perameles gunnii

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA PERAMELEMORPHIA PERAMELIDAE

Scientific Name: Perameles gunnii
Species Authority: Gray, 1838
Common Name/s:
English Eastern Barred Bandicoot
French Péramèle À Long Nez De L´est

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Menkhorst, P. & Richards, J.
Reviewer/s: Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Near Threatened because this species is probably in significant decline (but probably at a rate of less than 30% over ten years) due largely to introduced predators. Almost qualifies as threatened under criterion A2e.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Vulnerable (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is endemic to south-eastern Australia, where it occurs over much of Tasmania and in a few reintroduction sites in Victoria (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). At one time, this species occurred from Melbourne west across the volcanic plain to south-eastern South Australia. It is now extinct in South Australia. Four small reintroduced populations exist in Victoria, including one of >700 animals has been established near Melbourne (only this one appears on the map). The Tasmanian population is most widely distributed in the northern and eastern parts of the island (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). The species ranges in elevation from sea level to 950 m in Tasmania, but it is usually found much lower there and on the mainland (Seebeck 2001).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (South Australia - Regionally Extinct, Tasmania, Victoria)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Tasmanian population is reasonably widespread and fairly common. The population near Melbourne has declined, as have the other reintroduced populations, and the total number of individuals on mainland Australia is likely less than 200, although these numbers fluctuate depending on rainfall.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: In Tasmania, populations inhabit open grasslands and areas of pastoral development with patches of dense groundcover (Seebeck 2001; Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). On the mainland, the species formerly occupied the native grasslands and grassy woodlands of the western volcanic plains of Victoria. Reintroduced populations have been established in grasslands and grassy woodlands, often dominated by exotic plant species (Maxwell et al. 1996). Females give birth to between one and five young (but usually 2 or 3) (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Eastern Barred Bandicoots probably disappeared from the mainland due to introduced predators and habitat destruction from introduced herbivores. Predation from red foxes is thought to have been particularly detrimental, and the recent introduction of foxes to Tasmania could pose a major threat to the species here. Introduced sheep and rabbits also cleared large areas of bandicoot habitat on the mainland, which must have led to reduced populations. In Tasmania populations are fragmented in parts of its range, but this is probably not a major threat (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Eastern Barred Bandicoot occurs in protected areas. The most important conservation measure for the species as a whole is the control of fox populations in Tasmania.

Recovery efforts on the mainland are complex, multi-disciplinary, and involve many organisations and individuals; several research projects are under way, including collaborative projects with universities, covering biology and ecology of reintroduced populations, establishment at new sites, and population dynamics of foxes at bandicoot release sites; there is considerable community interest and involvement in the recovery program, especially with releases onto private land. A Recovery Plan for the mainland subspecies has been developed (Watson and Halley 2000).

Management actions underway for the mainland population include: captive breeding, ongoing since 1988. The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board (ZPGB) now manages this aspect of the recovery program, and bandicoots are bred at facilities in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. There are four reintroduction sites in Victoria, but only one, Woodlands Historic Park near Melbourne, has a reasonably secure population (>700 animals). The others are small, highly vulnerable, and will rely on supplementary releases for the next few years. Not all of these sites contain sufficient habitat for populations to be self-sustaining in the short- to medium-term; habitat management through fencing, tree planting, native grassland management, weed and rabbit control variously occur at all sites; intensive predator control is maintained at all release sites, with regular poisoning, shooting and destruction of dens and other refuges.
Citation: Menkhorst, P. & Richards, J. 2008. Perameles gunnii. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 19 April 2014.
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