Potorous platyops 

Scope: Global
Language: English

Translate page into:

Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Potoroidae

Scientific Name: Potorous platyops (Gould, 1844)
Common Name(s):
English Broad-faced Potoroo

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): Baynes, A.
Listed as Extinct because it has not been recorded in more than 100 years despite extensive surveys.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

Specimens and subfossil remains indicate that the Broad-faced Potoroo occurred on the northern Swan Coastal Plain, in the wheatbelt and along the south coast of Western Australia as far east as the Great Australian Bight, on the Eyre and Yorke Peninsulas in south-eastern South Australia and on Kangaroo Island, South Australia (Baynes 1987, McDowell et al. 2012).

Countries occurrence:
Regionally extinct:
Australia (Western Australia)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:0
Number of Locations:0
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


Most of the early accounts of the Broad-faced Potoroo note that it was a rare species, and this is consistent with the small number of specimens, compared with other species obtained by Masters in the 1860s in southern Western Australia (Glauert 1950; see also Ride 1970). This is also consistent with the very small numbers of specimens held in modern mammal collections in museums. Its remains are not abundant in most cave deposits, with the single exception of a small cave at the western end of the Baxter Cliffs, Nullarbor Plain, where Masked Owls Tyto novaehollandiae may have been responsible for the accumulation (A. Baynes pers. comm.).

Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:0
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

The only information about habitat came from John Gilbert, who collected animals for John Gould. He wrote ‘All I could glean of its habits was that it was killed in a thicket surrounding one of the salt lagoons of the interior’. Kitchener and Friend (2008) noted that its habitat use largely excluded forested areas.


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Causes of extinction are presumed to be:
1. Predation by feral cats (severe, possibly catastrophic in combination with other threats): the Broad-faced Potoroo became extinct before the arrival of the Red Fox in Western Australia; however, Cats were present throughout the range of this species by the 1890s (Abbott 2002, 2008); there is abundant evidence that feral Cats have a significant effect on medium-sized Australian mammals, including causing extinction (Dickman 1996)
2. Exotic disease (severe, possibly catastrophic in combination with other threats): 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 Western Australia; many of these declined before the arrival of Red Foxes; however, only parts of range would have been affected (Abbott 2006)
3. Inappropriate fire regimes (severe): fire regimes changed dramatically after European settlement; Aborigines used fire extensively and frequently to produce a mosaic of different-aged vegetation (Gammage 2011); this may have benefited this species
4. Habitat degradation and resource depletion due to livestock and feral herbivores (severe): sheep grazing was widespread in parts of the Western Australian wheatbelt before clearing; however, it was limited to areas where there were no Gastrolobium spp., the grazing of which caused death in stock
5. Habitat loss and fragmentation (moderate but only over small area of range): extinction occurred before widespread land clearing for agriculture in the Western Australia wheatbelt

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is extinct.

Citation: Burbidge, A.A. & Woinarski, J. 2016. Potorous platyops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T18103A21960570. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided