Conservation and management of an endangered marsupial, the Sandhill Dunnart, in a semi-arid environment
A project undertaken at the School of Earth and environmental Science, The University of Adelaide, and supervised by Dr Sue Carthew
Biodiversity is being lost at an alarming rate worldwide. One of the most common causes of species decline is habitat loss. Until recently the Australian semi-arid and arid zones have largely escaped extensive habitat loss. However, recent expansion of the mining industry has led to encroachment of mining activities on these pristine areas. As mining activity increases, a range of species we know very little about are being threatened.
One such species is the endangered Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila). Very little information is currently known about this species and as a consequence detailed management plans have not been implemented. In addition core known populations are now under threat by mineral exploration and mining activities. In order to conserve this species, baseline ecological knowledge is required to predict how it is likely to respond to mining disturbance and accordingly, what type of management actions should be put in place to ensure its persistence. This project will use a combination of ecological and genetic information to assist in developing an effective management plan for the species.
Broad project aim: To contribute ecological and genetic information for use in the management and conservation of an endangered marsupial, the Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila) using a multi-discipline approach.