Hemibelideus lemuroides 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Pseudocheiridae

Scientific Name: Hemibelideus lemuroides
Species Authority: (Collett, 1884)
Common Name(s):
English Lemuroid Ringtail Possum

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Burnett, S. & Winter, J.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because this species has an extent of occurrence of less than 3,000 km2, it is very sensitive to habitat disturbance, and it is a prime candidate to be affected by global warming, which collectively make it close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion B.. Should there be a decline in population, habitat, or should its potential threats become a realized, this species would likely qualify for a threatened category. At present, however, the population and habitat are stable, it is common within suitable habitat, and much of its range is secure from traditional threats because it lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage area.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Lemuroid Ringtail Possum occurs in Australian rainforests in two distinct localities: one is above 450 m elevation between Ingham and Cairns, north Queensland, and a smaller population above 1,100 m asl occurs on the Mt. Carbine Tableland, west of Mossman (Winter et al. 2008). The area of occupancy has declined as a result of clearing and fragmentation of rainforest.
Countries occurrence:
Australia (Queensland)
Lower elevation limit (metres): 450
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in suitable habitat, but its habitat is limited (Winter et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is a nocturnal, arboreal species that prefers cool, wet, primary rainforest, typically in the core rather than on the margins of suitable habitat. It rests in tree hollows, and feeds on the foliage of trees, often high in the canopy (Maxwell et al. 1996). This species appears to be very sensitive to the effects of fragmentation and disappears from isolated rainforest patches of 40-80 ha or less (Winter et al. 2008). It does not use narrow forest corridors.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to the species at present. Selective logging was a past threat, but now much of its range is within the Wet Tropics World Heritage area. It is very sensitive to canopy removal, and is adversely affected by the construction of wide roads and clearing for power lines resulting in open areas within its habitat. It is likely to be sensitive to global warming as it is found at high elevations (Winter et al. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Recommended actions include monitoring its distribution and abundance, and studying its habitat requirements and population dynamics.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland
suitability: Suitable  
1. Forest -> 1.9. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Montane
suitability: Suitable  

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
4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.2. Utility & service lines
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.3. Logging & wood harvesting -> 5.3.5. Motivation Unknown/Unrecorded
♦ timing: Past, Unlikely to Return    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

11. Climate change & severe weather -> 11.1. Habitat shifting & alteration
♦ timing: Future    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A. A. and Morris, K. 1996. The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Australasian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.

Winter, J. W., Moore, N. J. and Wilson, R. F. 2008. Lemuroid Ringtail Possum, Hemibelideus lemuroides. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 238-240. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Citation: Burnett, S. & Winter, J. 2008. Hemibelideus lemuroides. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T9869A13023084. . Downloaded on 24 November 2015.
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