Kangaroo Island dunnart
IUCN Status : Critically Endangered (population decreasing)
These little marsupials are about the size of a European mouse and are the only dunnart species found on Kangaroo Island in south Australia. If you remember the Australian bushfires from January (how was that only 4 months ago?) then you may recall that Kangaroo Island had some of the most devastating bushfires and much of the island was engulfed in flames at one point. Prior to the bushfires a population estimate for the Kangaroo Island dunnarts put them at only 500 individuals remaining in the wild. The AWC (Australian Wildlife Conservancy) are working together with the local people and have established a fenced off area to protect the remaining individuals from predators such as feral cats.
Did you know that
• They are carnivores and eat a diet of insects and small animals
• Though they are tiny, their tails can be as long as their body and they can use them to store fat reserves for times when they struggle to find prey
• The species has only been known to science for 50 years and has proven difficult to catch and study
Have you ever seen any dunnart species in the wild? Let me know!