Title

Detection of the eastern pygmy-possum Cercartetus nanus (Marsupialia: Burramyidae) at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, New South Wales

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Harris, JM & Goldingay, RL 2005, 'Detection of the eastern pygmy-possum Cercartetus nanus (Marsupialia: Burramyidae) at Barren Grounds Nature Reserve, New South Wales', Australian Mammalogy, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 85-88.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/AM05085

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

THE eastern pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus) has an extensive distribution, from south-eastern Queensland to south-eastern South Australia, and also into Tasmania (Strahan 1995). Despite this it is rarely detected in fauna surveys (Bowen and Goldingay 2000). This rarity in detection suggested that the species may be characterised by small and isolated populations, and therefore vulnerable to extinction. Consequently, it became listed as a 'Vulnerable' species in New South Wales (NSW) in 2001. Unless resolved, the low rate of detection of C. nanus will continue to hinder the acquisition of basic ecological information that is needed to more clearly define its conservation status and that is fundamental to the development of a recovery plan. An extensive body of survey data for NSW involving C. nanus has been reviewed by Bowen and Goldingay (2000). Among a range of survey methods aimed at detecting this species, trapping within flowering banksias and checking installed nest-boxes had the highest rates of detection. Indeed, one study in northern NSW captured 98 individuals over a 3- year period from within nest-boxes (Bladon et al. 2002). All other studies detected fewer than 15 C. nanus. It is clear that further research is required to investigate the effectiveness of a range of detection methods.