Sminthopsis griseoventer


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Sminthopsis griseoventer
Species Authority: Kitchener, Stoddart & Henry, 1984
Common Name(s):
English Grey-bellied Dunnart, Boullanger Island Dunnart, Gray-bellied Dunnart
French Souris Marsupiale De Boullanger
Sminthopsis griseoventer subspecies nova
Taxonomic Notes: It has long thought that there is a single Sminthopsis species on Boullanger Island. Crowther et al. (1999) described the taxon as a subspecies, Sminthopsis griseoventer boullangerensis. In so doing, they provided strong arguments for considering the taxon as a separate species based on allozyme data, morphometrics, morphological features, and some aspects of mtDNA sequence frequencies between S. griseoventer and island populations. Groves (2005) recognized the island taxon as a separate species, S. boullangerensis, citing these data and the authors' statement that their treatment of the taxon as a subspecies is "conservative". Crother et al. (1999), however, go on to detail what information would be needed to satisfactorily resolve the taxonomic issue including definitive evidence of whether their S. g. boullangerensis occurs on the mainland in sympatry with S. griseoventer, and analysis of allozymes and DNA from northern populations of mainly S. griseoventer. We follow Crother et al. (1999) here until further information becomes available, and we emphasize the urgent need to definitively settle this taxonomic question.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): McKenzie, N. & Kemper, C.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, occurrence in a number of protected areas, lack of major threats, and because it is unlikely to be declining at the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia, where it is distributed in south-western Western Australia. The species also occurs on Boullanger Island (see Taxonomic Notes), and there are records (in 2003) from two isolated areas in the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Australia (Western Australia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Grey-bellied Dunnart is common in its limited habitat (Dickman 2008).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in open Eucalyptus and Banksia woodland, dense heathland and seasonal swampland (Dickman 2008). Females generally give birth to a single litter of up to eight young annually (Dickman 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There appear to be no major threats to this species. Locally, the species is threatened by continued habitat clearance and fragmentation. Feral cats affect them, though the populations have been able to withstand this predation.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in several protected areas in Western Australia. In South Australia, both known localities are within protected areas. Research is needed to determine the taxonomic status of populations on Boullanger Island; should that population warrant species status it would almost certainly qualify within a threatened a category (Crowther et al. 1999).

Citation: McKenzie, N. & Kemper, C. 2008. Sminthopsis griseoventer. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 30 August 2015.
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