Antechinus minimus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Dasyuromorphia Dasyuridae

Scientific Name: Antechinus minimus (É. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803)
Common Name(s):
English Swamp Antechinus, Little Tasmanian Marsupial-mouse, Swamp Marsupial Mouse
French Souris marsupiale des marais litoraux

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-06-15
Assessor(s): van Weenen, J. & Menkhorst, P.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Listed as Least Concern because, although the species is probably declining on the mainland and with limited suitable available habitat in some parts of its range, it seems to be relatively stable in Tasmania and any decline is not steep enough to warrant listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Swamp Antechinus is endemic to Australia. The subspecies A. m. maritimus (Finlayson 1958) is found as fragmented populations in near-coastal areas of south-eastern South Australia and Victoria west of and including Sunday Island and Wilsons Promontory. Isolated populations in southern Gippsland Plain have been most affected by habitat modification and/or alienation. In South Australia, recorded since 1970 from coastal lakes and swamps south of Robe. In Victoria, recorded since 1970 from three main areas, the south-western Wannon region, the Otways, and the southern Gippsland Plain (Menkhorst 1995, Bachmann and van Weenen 2001).

A. m. minimus (Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire 1803) is present on Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands (Wilson and Bachmann 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1000
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:The Swamp Antechinus is rare in South Australia and Victoria, and patchily distributed given the habitat, but more common in Tasmania (Wilson and Bachmann 2008). The largest population densities have been recorded on Great Glennie Island off Wilsons Promontory (Victoria) with an estimated 80 individuals per hectare (Wainer 1976). Wilson et al. (1986) recorded a maximum density of 14 per hectare near Anglesea in the Otways.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species occurs in damp habitats with dense understorey vegetation. It has been found in forest, woodland, heathland, tussock grassland, and sedgeland. It prefers lower elevation areas, with a southerly aspect and moderate slope (Wilson and Bachmann 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The subspecies A. m. maritimus is likely to be further threatened from continuing drainage and grazing of swamp habitats (and clearance of swamp vegetation), habitat/population fragmentation into small remnant habitat 'islands', and wildfire (Maxwell et al. 1996). Currently A. m. maritimus is impacted by introduced predators (Bachmann and van Weenen 2001). The habitat of this subspecies also could be greatly reduced due to future climate change (Brereton et al. 1995, Burgman and Lindenmeyer 1998). There appear to be no major threats to A. m. minimus.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Swamp Antechinus is present in a few protected areas; most of the mainland population is found in protected areas (and, indeed, there have been a few efforts to protect and maintain suitable habitat in grazed areas in South Australia). Much of the species' range in the western half of Tasmania is in a World Heritage Site. There is a need for a systematic survey of the current range of A. m. minimus to obtain accurate distribution baseline and determine current threats, as has recently been done for A. m. maritimus in South Australia (Bachmann and van Weenen 2001), as the subspecies is probably undergoing declines and the amount of suitable habitat available is likely to be small.

Citation: van Weenen, J. & Menkhorst, P. 2016. Antechinus minimus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T40525A21946728. . Downloaded on 19 September 2017.
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