The swamp antechinus is a small carnivorous marsupial with a head to body length of 95−140 mm, and a tail length which is 70 percent of the head to body length. It has a long slender muzzle, long foreclaws, short ears that do not protrude far beyond the fur, and pale eyerings. The upperparts are brown with a yellow or rufous wash, particularly on the rump, flanks and hindlegs, with paler buff or grey-yellow underparts and pale claws. Antechinus minimus maritimus (swamp antechinus (coastal Victoria and far south-eastern South Australia)) Conservation Advice Page 2 of 14 The swamp antechinus (coastal Victoria and far south-eastern South Australia) subspecies has eight teats, while the Tasmanian and Bass Strait islands subspecies has six teats.
Swamp Antechinus (mainland) |
Antechinus minimus maritimus
Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list
Government evidence of impact of climate change:
Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Antechinus minimus maritimus
Climate change Severe Large (future Drier conditions would substantially threat) change the wetland characteristics of the subspecies preferred habitat; exacerbated by the small size of remaining habitat patches and the subspecies limited dispersal ability (SA DEWNR 2015).
However; population trends may be inferred from changes to the subspecies habitat and distribution; results of a long term monitoring study in the Otways; and ongoing threats which may increase in severity in the future (e.g. an increase in the intensity and frequency of fires due to climate change).
Factors driving the decline in the eastern Otways are not well understood; but possible factors include habitat fragmentation; decline in fauna habitat quality (impact of the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamommi); climate change (rainfall decline; increased temperature); changed fire regimes; increased predation; or combinations of all or some of these factors (Wilson Garkaklis 2014; 2015 Wilson et al.; 2015).
Threat factor Consequen Extent over Evidence base ce rating which threat may operate Too frequent Severe Large Subpopulations of this subspecies have burning been shown to be eliminated by wildfire; and recolonisation may be slow or absent (Wilson et al.; 2001 Wilson Bachmann 2008).
Changes to fuel reduction burning in Victoria; arising from recommendations of the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission; may result in inappropriate age structure for the subspecies habitat (Wilson pers. comm.; 2015).
The population size is suspected to be undergoing continuing decline due to past and continuing habitat loss; degradation and fragmentation; and ongoing impacts of feral predators and fire (Woinarski et al.; 2014).
Theme Specific actions Priority Active mitigation of Implement optimum fire regimes and fire High threats control measures that benefit this subspecies; including maintaining areas of mature dense vegetation and thick ground cover.