|Scientific Name:||Dasycercus cristicauda (Krefft, 1867)|
Chaetocercus cristicauda Krefft, 1867
Dasycercus hillieri (Thomas, 1905)
The taxonomy of Dasycercus has been confusing, but is now resolved (Woolley 2005). Historically, three species, D. cristicauda, D. hillieri and D. blythi, have been described; were then synonymized (under D. cristicauda); and re-split (to Mulgara D. cristicauda and Ampurta D. hillieri). However, Woolley (2005) demonstrated that the correct names for the two species were Crest-tailed Mulgara D. cristicauda and Brush-tailed Mulgara D. blythi, and that there was no straightforward linkage between the previously applied ascription of names and the current classification (in many to most cases, what was referred to previously as D. cristicauda is now considered to be D. blythi, and what was previously referred to as D. hillieri is now D. cristicauda); with the issue further clouded by co-occurrence across some regions. Many observations or studies in which voucher specimens were not collected are now ambiguous; however, Woolley (2006) provided interpretation of the currently-accepted nomenclature to names used in a series of previous studies.
|Red List Category & Criteria:||Near Threatened ver 3.1|
|Assessor(s):||Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A.|
|Reviewer(s):||Hawkins, C. & Johnson, C.N.|
|Contributor(s):||Bluff, L., Brandle, R., Dickman, C., Masters, P., Pedler, R., Southgate, R. & Woolley, P.|
Ascription of Red List status to the Crest-tailed Mulgara is difficult, in part because previous taxonomic confusion has made assessment of historic changes in population size and distribution difficult to interpret. Furthermore, there are no reliable estimates of population size or trends across the species geographic range, and the detection and interpretation of long-term trends may be complicated by substantial short-term fluctuations in numbers of individuals related to rainfall conditions.
|Previously published Red List assessments:|
The Crest-tailed Mulgara has (or had) a wide distribution across central and inland Australia. However, precise circumscription of distribution is hampered by long-standing nomenclatural confusion (see Taxonomic notes), which renders many previous non-vouchered records ambiguous. As such, distribution maps are likely to be an imperfect representation, particularly of the former distribution. A current study by P. Woolley (pers. comm. 2014) seeks to review and re-attribute all museum records, and will substantial increase the reliability of such mapping.
Native:Australia (New South Wales - Possibly Extinct, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia - Possibly Extinct)
|Range Map:||Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.|
There has been no robust assessment of population size, nor that of individual subpopulations, and the abundance probably varies substantially in association with rainfall conditions. Woolley (2008) considered that it has ‘a presumed large population’. Masters (2008) considered it ‘sparse’.
|Current Population Trend:||Stable|
|Habitat and Ecology:|
The Crest-tailed Mulgara is a mostly nocturnal marsupial, with a diet comprising a broad range of invertebrates and small vertebrates (Masters 2008). During the day it shelters in burrow systems, typically located at the base of grass clumps or bushes (Woolley 1990). It mostly occurs in sand dunes, with sparse vegetation (including the tall grass Zygochloa paradoxa), and in herblands and sparse grasslands bordering salt lakes (Masters 2008; Pavey et al. 2011). In an area of sympatry, the Brush-tailed Mulgara occupied sand plain and gibber plain, and the Crest-tailed Mulgara occupied sand ridges with tussock grasses (Woolley 2005; Pavey et al. 2011).
|Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:||Yes|
|Generation Length (years):||2|
|Movement patterns:||Not a Migrant|
|Major Threat(s):||Threats are poorly understood but include predation by and competition with feral cats and Red Foxes, habitat degradation due to livestock and feral herbivores, and, possibly, inappropriate fire regimes.|
The Crest-tailed Mulgara is present in some conservation reserves, where it is protected from some threats.
|Citation:||Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A. 2016. Dasycercus cristicauda. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T6266A21945813.Downloaded on 22 October 2017.|
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