Phascogale calura 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Dasyuromorphia Dasyuridae

Scientific Name: Phascogale calura
Species Authority: Gould, 1844
Common Name(s):
English Red-tailed Phascogale, Red-tailed Wambenger
French Petit Phascogale

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Friend, T.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because the population of this species is probably less than 10,000 mature individuals and it might be decreasing, but not at a rate of 10% over 10 years, thus it is close to qualifying as Vulnerable under criterion C.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Endangered (EN)
1994 Endangered (E)
1990 Indeterminate (I)
1988 Indeterminate (I)
1986 Indeterminate (I)
1982 Indeterminate (I)
1965 Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Red-tailed Phascogale is endemic to Australia. It was formerly very widespread but now is found only within south-western Western Australia.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Western Australia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Populations fluctuate with rainfall. Like several other dasyurid species, males die-off after mating, but females are capable of breeding for two or even three seasons (Bradley et al. 2008). There are no demonstrated population declines currently, but there were large declines historically. Red-tailed Phascogales are not found at high densities and there are probably less than 10,000 mature individuals overall.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is mainly nocturnal, arboreal and nests with tree hollows (Bradley et al. 2008). It occupies dense, mature woodlands containing Rock Sheoak (Allocasuarina huegeliana) and hollow-forming Wandoo (Eucalyptus wandoo). Females have up to 13 young in a litter, but only eight are raised (Bradley et al. 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The historical decline of Red-tailed Phascogale was probably due to forest clearance and fragmentation, changed fire regimes (whereby frequent fire eliminated nest sites), and the presence of introduced predators. The species now occurs in a number of protected areas that are secure from habitat destruction and people in the region are very careful with fire, so there is no longer frequent burning. Populations and habitat are still fragmented.

The effects of cats and foxes on populations are not fully understood. There is no evidence that fox control has helped this largely arboreal species (A. Burbidge pers. comm.). The current range of the species, however, seems to be associated with the presence of Gastrolobium and Oxylobium, which produce monosodium fluoracetate ('1080' poison), which is lethal to foxes (Bradley et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Red-tailed Phascogale is listed as a threatened species under Australian law. It is currently found at a total of 40-50 sites, many of which are within protected areas, with fairly low threat. There is a need to study the effects of predator control on the species and to secure and establish further populations. Close monitoring of the Red-tailed Phascogale is important in order to detect and react early to any population declines.

Citation: Friend, T. 2008. Phascogale calura. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T16888A6544803. . Downloaded on 01 December 2015.
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