Species profile

Kakadu Dunnart

Kakadu Dunnart

Range and abundance

The Kakadu Dunnart is found in the Top End of the Northern Territory in the area around Kakadu National Park. It is associated with areas of gravelly soil and hilly areas with woodlands dominated by Salmon Gum, Red-barked Bloodwood and Ironwood.

Description

The Kakadu Dunnart’s typical body length is 5.2 to 8.4 cm, with a 6 – 10 cm tail, and weighs 12 – 14 grams. It is pale grey in colour with a darker eye ring, and paler underneath. Its tail is unusually slender.

Ecology

Very little is known about the Ecology of the Kakadu Dunnart. Young have been reported in February, March and November and the diet in the wild is unknown.

Threats

Threats to the Kakadu Dunnart likely include altered fire regimes – especially an increase in frequent and intense wildfires - predation by feral cats and grazing by introduced herbivores. Grazing by introduced herbivores and the increasingly intense and frequent fires in northern Australia, likely reduce the ground cover that provides shelter for the Dunnart. The small size of the Dunnart puts it at risk of predation by feral cats. 


What is AWC doing?

AWC protects the Kakadu Dunnart and its habitat on Wongalara through a program of fire management and control of feral herbivores. Prescribed burning on Wongalara is designed to increase the extent of long unburnt vegetation (including ground cover), increase the patchiness of burns and decrease the extent of the properties that are burnt each year. The exclusion of feral herbivores from 1,000 sq km of Wongalara should improve the condition of ground cover vegetation. We also encourage a stable population of Dingoes as this may help decrease the activity of feral cats.

Did you know:

The Kakadu Dunnart was only discovered in 1980 during surveys of Kakadu National Park.