Pseudantechinus bilarni 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Dasyuromorphia Dasyuridae

Scientific Name: Pseudantechinus bilarni (Johnson, 1954)
Common Name(s):
English Sandstone Antechinus, Sandstone Pseudantechinus
Parantechinus bilarni (Johnson, 1954)
Taxonomic Notes: According to Groves in Wilson and Reeder (1993) and Nowak (1999) Parantechinus bilarni is a good species. However, this species has been transferred to Pseudantechinus following the Australasian Marsupial Specialist Group (Maxwell et al.1996).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-03-15
Assessor(s): Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A.
Reviewer(s): Hawkins, C.
Contributor(s): Ward, S., Legge, S., Kanowski, J. & Webb, J.
Population size is poorly resolved but likely to be between 10,000 and 30,000 individuals; monitoring results provide inconsistent indication of population trends, but a plausible rate of decline is 10-20% over 10 years; habitat quality is likely to be subject to ongoing decline, but management actions are having some beneficial impact on main threat (fire). It does not fit criteria for threatened; a categorisation of Near Threatened may be valid but population size and rate of decline are poorly defined and unlikely to approach relevant thresholds.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:The Sandstone Antechinus is restricted to rugged sandstone formations in the monsoonal tropics of the Northern Territory. Most of its range occurs in the sandstone plateau and escarpments of western Arnhem Land (including Kakadu National Park), but it has also been reported from a small number of sites in ranges of the Gulf of Carpentaria hinterland, on Marchinbar Island (in the Wessel group off north-eastern Arnhem Land), and in ranges on the eastern slopes of the Daly River catchment (Woinarski et al. 1999, Fisher et al. 2000, Kanowski et al. 2010). In the Gulf region, it overlaps with the similar Carpentarian Antechinus P. mimulus (Kanowski et al. 2010, 2011), and to the west of its range (the Victoria River District and Kimberley) it approaches the range of the Ningbing Antechinus P. ningbing.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:228-50000,10000-20000Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:184804
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Number of Locations:20-200Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in the number of locations:No
Upper elevation limit (metres):500
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The Sandstone Antechinus may be locally abundant, but there have been no attempts to measure population size or density. At the site of most intensive study (Little Nourlangie Rock, in Kakadu National Park), Begg (1981) captured 336 different individuals in 34 800 trap-nights over a 28 month period. In contrast, only two individuals were caught in about 12 000 trap-nights on Marchinbar Island (Woinarski et al. 1999). Surveys on the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Pungalina – Seven Emu wildlife sanctuary, in the Gulf region, have captured zero to four individuals per 60 trap-nights at locations where the species was known to occur (Kanowski et al. 2010, 2011). Like some other dasyurids, the Sandstone Antechinus is likely to be detected more frequently from camera trap surveys than in standard live trapping surveys; its abundance (and possibly its distribution) may therefore be underestimated.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10000-100000, 20000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
No. of subpopulations:10-100Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:The Sandstone Antechinus is associated particularly with areas with large boulders, crevices, and scree slopes (Begg 1981), but shows no close association with vegetation features (Begg 1981, Fisher et al. 2000). The Sandstone Antechinus is a nocturnal, generalist predator of invertebrates and small vertebrates.  It is restricted to rugged rocky environments. In the 12 months following a high intensity experimental fire at the Little Nourlangie Rock site, survivorship decreased (relative to pre-fire estimates), and the total population size declined (Begg et al. 1981). Breeding is seasonal, with young born in August and September (Begg 1981). Females have six nipples, but the number of young produced is typically less than this capacity (Begg 1981).
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Yes
Generation Length (years):2
Movement patterns:Not a Migrant

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): The preferred habitat of this species is now subject to frequent, intense and extensive fire (in and out of conservation reserves) (Woinarski et al. 2010), with such fire shown to detrimentally affect population size and/or reproductive output (Begg 1981, Begg et al. 1981). It is also likely to be affected by predation by feral cats, but the population-level impacts of this factor are unknown. Almost all of its range has recently been invaded by the Cane Toad (Rhinella marina), which may be toxic to this species, but there is no evidence from recent monitoring data (Woinarski et al. 2010) of population-level declines of Sandstone Antechinus following this invasion.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is present in several protected areas, notably including Kakadu National Park. There is some fire management in this and other reserves, which may have led to some recent improvements, but current regime is still characterised by frequent, high intensity and extensive fires.

Citation: Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A. 2016. Pseudantechinus bilarni. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T40636A21945319. . Downloaded on 17 October 2017.
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