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Parantechinus apicalis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DASYUROMORPHIA DASYURIDAE

Scientific Name: Parantechinus apicalis
Species Authority: (Gray, 1842)
Common Name/s:
English Dibbler, Southern Dibbler
French Souris Marsupiale Mouchetée

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor/s: Friend, T., Burbidge, A. & Morris, K.
Reviewer/s: Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
History:
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Indeterminate (IUCN 1990)
1988 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)
1986 Indeterminate (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1986)
1982 Indeterminate (Thornback and Jenkins 1982)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: The Dibbler is endemic to south-western Australia. It occurs naturally in Fitzgerald River National Park and on the islands of Boullanger and Whitlock (Friend 2004). The species also occurs as translocated populations on Escape Island, Peniup, and Stirling Range National Park (Woolley 2008).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Western Australia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Dibbler is a rare species (Woolley 2008). The global population consists of about 500-1,000 mature individuals, but there have been some declines. The three island populations include a total of 200 individuals. The (reintroduced) adult population on Escape Island is about 30 individuals. The island populations have declined in the last few decades. Population size fluctuates significantly with rainfall. This species lives only for about one year.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Dibblers are associated with scrub and heath communities. The time since fire appears to be important with older aged areas being preferred. It is possible that the species will occupy younger vegetation when foxes are excluded (Friend 2004). Dibblers eat a variety of arthropods, and some small vertebrates. Females may produce two litters annually (at least in captivity and on the islands) of up to eight young (Woolley 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Introduced foxes and cats are known to prey on this species, and are found throughout its known mainland range, though they are not present on the islands. The plant disease Phytophthora cinnamomi is a threat to Dibblers, as it adversely alters their habitat. Introduced mice are also a potential threat on Boullanger and Whitlock Islands, due to competition (Friend 2004). Because this species is dependent on habitat that has not been recently burned, frequent and intense fire is a major threat.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Dibbler is listed as a threatened species under Australian law. It occurs in a few protected areas. A recovery plan has been developed for the species for the 2003-2013 period (Friend 2004). Captive breeding has allowed for the translocation of Dibblers to three locations.

Recommendations in the recovery plan (Friend 2004), include: monitoring known populations; surveying for additional populations; protecting populations from threatening processes (including the prevention of exotic predators from the islands, controlling foxes and cats at mainland sites, implementing fire management, preventing the spread of Phytophthora cinnamomi); studying the feasibility of eradicating introduced mice from Boullanger and Whitlock Islands; maintaining and expanding captive breeding populations for further translocations; and promoting awareness of Dibbler conservation among the public and among land managers.
Citation: Friend, T., Burbidge, A. & Morris, K. 2008. Parantechinus apicalis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 April 2014.
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