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Dasyurid dilemmas: problems and solutions for conserving Australia's small carnivorous marsupials

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posted on 2003-01-01, 00:00 authored by Barbara Wilson, C Dickman, T Fletcher
Dasyurid marsupials are distributed throughout the major terrestrial environments of Australia but since European settlement have suffered local and regional extinctions, range reductions and population declines. In this paper we examine the conservation status of small dasyurids (<500 g) and the threats they face. We also evaluate recovery procedures for threatened taxa and assess their success. Twenty-four percent of smaller dasyurids are classified as vulnerable, endangered or data deficient. Large body size and occupancy of one or two habitat types are correlated strongly with  endangerment species currently considered as 'low risk, near threatened' group closely with vulnerable and endangered species, indicating a risk of further declines. The processes contributing most to declines include habitat loss and fragmentation, altered fire regimes and predation. As of April 200 I, no Recovery Plans had been adopted by the Commonwealth Govemment for any small dasyund species. There is much information on the reproduction and development of smaller dasyurids, making them suitable for captive breeding. However, captive breeding programs have been limited. the  dibbler Paranrechinus apicalis being the only species bred systematically for reintroductions. There is a need for integration between captive breeding programs and recovery planning. as well as for more information on the population viability and metapopulation structures of small dasyurids genetic diversity of populations and inbreeding depression. We suggest a program of survey. research. management and education to Improve conservation outcomes for all small dasyurids.

History

Title of book

Predators with pouches: the biology of carnivorous marsupials

Chapter number

28

Pagination

407 - 421

Publisher

CSIRO Publishing

Place of publication

Collingwood, Vic.

ISBN-13

9780643066342

ISBN-10

0643066349

Language

eng

Publication classification

B1 Book chapter

Copyright notice

2003, CSIRO Publishing

Extent

33

Editor/Contributor(s)

M Jones, C Dickman, M Archer

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