Zyzomys palatalis 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Zyzomys palatalis
Species Authority: Kitchener, 1989
Common Name(s):
English Carpentarian Rock-rat
Zyzomys palatilis Kitchener, 1989 [orth. error]
Taxonomic Notes: This species is listed as Zyzomys palatilis by Musser and Carleton (2005), but the correct spelling is Z. palatalis.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Critically Endangered B2ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Woinarski, J.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. (Global Mammal Assessment Team) & Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)
Listed as Critically Endangered because its area of occupancy is probably less than 10 km2, all individuals are in single location (subject to the threat of fire), and the extent of its forest habitat is declining.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Critically Endangered (CR)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia where it is known from five gorges in rocky sandstone ranges in the Northern Territory near the border with Queensland, Australia (Lee 1995; Puckey 2003; Puckey et al. 2008). This species is probably not found outside these known sites. The former range of the species is not known (Lee 1995; Puckey 2003).
Countries occurrence:
Number of Locations: 1
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The species was first described in 1986 and is known from very few specimens (Puckey 2001). There are estimated to be approximately 700 individuals at Moonlight Gorge and 450 at Banyon Gorge. The total population is probably less than 2,000 individuals, however, no estimates have been made for the other sites (Puckey 2001).
Current Population Trend: Unknown
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals: 1200-2000
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This little-known species is found only in a specific habitat type in a generally restricted area (Puckey et al. 2008). It is known from patches of monsoon vine thicket growing on scree slopes, and fringing escarpments, in sandstone gorges. It is also found in woodlands surrounding rainforest patches.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): It may have declined through a long-term reduction and fragmentation of it specific habitat due to climatic changes, possibly exacerbated by recent changes in fire regime (Lee 1995). Cattle grazing might be a threat, as grazing negatively impacts rainforest patches and their associated waterways (Puckey 2001). Feral cats may be a threat to this species as well, but their impact is unknown (Puckey 2001).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is not present within any protected areas; sites are within pastoral stations. Monitoring is needed, along with fire control and prevention of grazing within the sites. The recovery plan for this species (Puckey et al. 2003) states the following priorities for the conservation of this species: declare known sites and manage them to eliminate threats; maintain a captive colony at the Territory Wildlife Park; carry out an experimental release program; and continue studies on the ecology of this species. Brook et al. (2002) reported that the most pressing management requirement was to limit uncontrolled fire (through preventative control burning around periphery of known sites).

Citation: Woinarski, J. 2008. Zyzomys palatalis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T23327A9432579. . Downloaded on 29 May 2016.
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