Kangaroo Island dunnart status update Before the recent bushfires it was estimated that between 300 and 500 endangered Kangaroo Island dunnarts lived on the island. Over the past couple of months, volunteers have been building “shelter tunnels” to protect the animal and other small threatened species from predators as they move between areas. According to the Mammal Action Plan, the range extends over 160 square kilometres, of which 24 square kilometres are considered to be occupied. The Kangaroo Island Dunnart (Sminthopsis aitkeni) is an example of a critically endangered island mammal. There’s plenty more where this came from. It is endemic to KI and has been listed as 'endangered' under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999). The Numbat is unique among Australian mammals. The Kangaroo island dunnart, (Sminthopsis aitkeni), is a species of dunnart first described in 1969, with paler underparts of its body. (Main image courtesy of Martin Loftus) Like what you just read? But scientists are now worried about many endangered species - including the Kangaroo Island dunnart, a mouse-like marsupial, and the glossy black-cockatoo. However, as Kangaroo Island has been isolated from the mainland for 10,000 years, the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is considered a distinct taxonomic entity. Find out about the species’ recovery. Aesthetics and identity. It is the only dunnart on Kangaroo Island. It has an average body length of 170mm-198mm, a snout to anus length of 80-93 mm, a tail measurement of 90-105 mm, a hind foot of 17.5mm, ear length of 18mm and a weight which varies between 20-25 grams. AWC is working with local landholders and conservation organisation, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, to protect this population by establishing a safe haven within a feral cat-proof fence in the Western River area of Kangaroo Island. However, it is likely to have suffered major declines due to historic land clearing, particularly in the eastern part of Kangaroo Island. It is notoriously difficult to sample so determining population trends is challenging. If you would like to contribute information on this species please provide your contact details to ThreatenedSpeciesCommissioner@awe.gov.au, John Gorton Building The Kangaroo Island dunnart (Sminthopsis fuliginosus aitkeni) is only found on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. The Kangaroo Island dunnart is a small, dark, sooty-grey coloured marsupial with a slender, pointed nose and wide, square-shaped ears. The Kangaroo Island Dunnart was initially considered a race of the Common Dunnart (Sminthopis murina), but following taxonomic revision was listed as a unique species (Sminthopsis aitkeni). Contact us. THERE WERE anxious days in early January when it looked as if the Black Summer fires had caused Australia’s 28th mammal extinction – that the flames had forced the Kangaroo Island dunnart over the brink. Since the 1970s, much of the western part of Kangaroo Island has been protected in conservation reserves. 90 per cent of the Kangaroo Island dunnart's habitat was destroyed in January's Ravine fire Landowner Peter Hammond has found the first dunnart seen in areas that had been severely burned Conservation work to protect dunnarts from feral cats continues while their habitat regrows One artist who grappled with the aesthetics of bushfire landscapes was Fred Williams (1927-1982). AWC is working with local landholders and conservation organisation, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, to protect one of the surviving populations of the dunnart after e. xtensive wildfires in late 2019 and early 2020 burnt 95 per cent of their habitat. AWC ecologists have supported the Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife team to establish threatened species surveys across unburnt private properties in the hope to locate more populations of the dunnart and manage feral cat numbers. We evaluated the best means of monitoring the threatened Kangaroo Island dunnart (Sminthopsis fuliginosus aitkeni, hereafter KI dunnart).