Some Endangered Australian Marsupials


    There are many factors which have contributed (on a whole) to the endangerment of many marsupials in Australia.  As you read through the information provided below (and hopefully link to the other sources to learn more about the subject), you'll see that the reasons most of these mammals are endangered revolve around man's intrusion into their environment.  The main contributing factors to marsupial (and other animal) endangerment are...


1)  Habitat destruction
2)  Habitat change and degradation
3)  Introduced animals
4)  Disease
5)  Climatic changes
6)  A combination of the above factors


 

Koala

*The koala was just recently added to the endangered species list in September of 1998.

    Koala territory covers the eastern coast of Australia and is also known as "The Koala Coast."  It stretches from Northern Queensland through to New South Wales and Victoria into South Australia.  This area is also the most highly populated by people.  This is the main reason for the endangerment of the koala.  Development near their habitat has caused them to live in cramped areas causing the rapid spread of disease.  They are also threatened by domesticated dogs and death on highways built near their habitat.
    Many groups are currently trying to help the koalas.  This includes the Koala Preservation Society of Queensland, and the Koala Hospital Association.  Both of these groups help injured or diseased koala's regain their health and then release them back to the wild.  They also try to move koalas to less developed areas.


 information taken from here


Eastern Quoll

    The eastern quoll is now extinct in South Australia.  The only area where they are currently known to live is in Tasmania, and their populations are considered vulnerable there.  Their numbers were drastically reduced earlier this century.  This was probably due to factors such as habitat loss and change, competition with foxes and disease.


Information was obtained from this page.  and  this page


Yellow-bellied Glider

    Yellow-bellied glider populations in northern Queensland are declining because of logging and clear felling.  They enjoy eating the sap from the red mahogany, a eucalypt tree which is being heavily logged.  This is the main reason for the endangerment of this species.
    As of right now, the only way known to best protect this species is the provision of small sanctuaries in areas of State Forest known to be inhabited by them.


 Information was obtained from this page.


Northern Hairy-Nosed Wombat

    The northern hairy-nosed wombat once occupied areas in New South Wales, southern Queensland and central Queensland.  Fossils have been found in Victoria as well.  Currently, the only known population is located in Epping Forest National Park in Queensland.  The reason for their endangerment is due to habitat loss and change, and drought and competition with cattle, sheep and rabbits for food.  They are now susceptible to disease, fire and inbreeding.
    Actions are being taken currently to re-establish this species.  Epping Forest National Park restricts access to only researchers and park managers so that the wombats won't be disturbed.  The park is also protected from wildfires, and has removed the cattle from the area.  Since they did this, wombat numbers have increased and decreased.  There are not many females in the population currently, so breeding success for this species is declining.  Programs that the area has to help re-establish this species include improving supplies of native grasses so that the wombats can be moved to other suitable areas in the park;  research on the ecology of the species;  and also captive-breeding programs.


 information was taken from this page


Bilby

    The greater bilby was once common through many areas in Australia, earlier this century.  It is now considered vulnerable.  The lesser bilby is considered to be extinct.  The bilby is threatened because of changes to it's habitat and competition with introduced animals.  Late last century, they were hunted for their skins and others were killed by means of trapping and poisoning.  They are now protected by the government.  Currently, they only occur in fragmented populations since their numbers were so drastically reduced.  They can be found in mulga scrublands and spinifex grasslands in the Tanami Desert, in the Gibson and Great Sandy Deserts, the Pilbara and Kimberly regions of Western Australia, and the Mitchell grasslands of south-west Queensland.  A plan has been worked out to try to ensure the recovery of the greater bilby.  This plan includes better management of the bilby's habitat, captive breeding, and re-establishment of bilbies to other suitable habitats.


 information was taken from here



Numbat

    The numbat is considered endangered and likely to become extinct if threats continue.  They previously occurred in small numbers through-out southern Australia, from the west coast to western NSW.  They lived in areas such as eucalypt forests and woodlands, mulga woodlands, mulga sand dunes and spinifex country.  They disappeared from NSW after 1900, but still lived around north-west South Australia till approximately the 1950's.  By 1986, only two populations were remaining.  Their main threats have been habitat loss and fragmentation, introduced predators, and changing fire patterns.  Currently, the numbat can only be found in south-west Western Australia in eucalypt woodlands.  Recently, programs have been implemented to help the numbat.  Activities undertaken include research on their ecology and threats to their survival, fox control (foxes are one of the introduced predators which have driven them to being endangered), predator control, fire management and reintroducing numbats to areas they formally occupied.


 information taken from here


this page written by Jill Lufcy


What is being done to help endangered marsupials? click here to find out


Click HERE for links to other information sources, and the pages where I got this information. Return to the main page