Cercartetus lepidus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Burramyidae

Scientific Name: Cercartetus lepidus (Thomas, 1888)
Common Name(s):
English Little Pygmy Possum, Little Pygmy-possum, Tasmanian Pygmy-possum, Tasmanian Pygmy Possum
Taxonomic Notes: The populations on Tasmania and mainland Australia may represent two separate species (Carthew and Cadzow 2008).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2015-06-15
Assessor(s): Menkhorst, P.
Reviewer(s): Johnson, C.N. & Hawkins, C.
Listed as Least Concern because, although the species is not common, it is relatively widespread (particularly on Tasmania), present in protected areas, and is not thought to be undergoing any major declines.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species is endemic to Australia, where it occurs throughout much of Tasmania and western Kangaroo Island, and on the mainland at the border between south-eastern South Australia and northwestern Victoria.
Countries occurrence:
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is not common.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:It is a little-known, nocturnal species. In Victoria, it has been recorded from mallee scrub, dry sclerophyll forests, and from heath on Kangaroo Island and in eastern Tasmania, and from wet sclerophyll forests in western Tasmania. Females gives birth to litters of three or four young (Carthew and Cadzow 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species, but inappropriate fire regimes on the mainland and continued clearance of sclerophyll forests in Tasmania are problems, and in some areas degradation of habitat by spreading of weeds, and predation by introduced cats may cause localized declines.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It is present in protected areas. Further studies are needed into the taxonomy, distribution, abundance, reproduction, ecology, and threats to this species.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.4. Shrubland - Temperate
3. Shrubland -> 3.8. Shrubland - Mediterranean-type Shrubby Vegetation

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats

Bibliography [top]

Carthew, S. M. and Cadzow, B. R. 2008. Little Pygmy-possum, Cercartetus lepidus. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 217-219. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-2. Available at: (Accessed: 04 September 2016).

Citation: Menkhorst, P. 2016. Cercartetus lepidus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T40577A21963428. . Downloaded on 21 June 2018.
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