Numbat  |  

Myrmecobius fasciatus

Status: Endangered on the EPBC Act list

The numbat is a small marsupial, with a head and body length of 200−250 mm and a tail length of 150−180 mm. Males attain slightly higher body weights than females (maximum 700 g and 550 g respectively. Numbat fur is reddish-brown on the head and upper back, with a distinct horizontal black stripe through the eye and partway down the back. There are faint white bands across the body, which become stronger towards the rump where they are accentuated by the progressively darker and eventually jet-black bands, between the white bands. The number of white bands varies between four and eleven. The bands are often broken with the two halves offset along the midline. The pattern formed by these bands is unique to the particular animal, and may be used to identify individuals. The hair on the underside of the body is off-white. The tail is covered with long brown hairs, many of which are tipped with white. The underside of the tail, near the body, is brick-red. The numbat has a pointed nose and elongated jaw which houses 50−52 teeth, the largest number recorded in any Australian terrestrial mammal. The teeth are poorly developed and many do not protrude beyond the gums. The tongue is exceptionally long and can be extended at least 5 cm beyond the tip of the nose (about the length of the head).

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Myrmecobius fasciatus

    Introduced predators; such as the fox and feral cat; coupled with widespread land clearing in southern parts of its range and altered fire regimes; are the major causes of its decline (DPaW 2015a).
    Mature individuals Land tenure Threats date Dryandra 2016 Estimated maximum 80 adults State forest Predation; woodland (annual Declining trend over the last 10 years; (SF) inappropriate (original) targeted but recently stabilised with the latest fire regimes; survey) estimate showing an increase genetic viability Boyagin (re 2016 Estimated 50 70 adults Stable over the Nature reserve As above introduced) (annual last 4 years (NR) targeted survey) Batalling (re Estimated 50 100 adults Declining SF As above introduced) trend over the last 10 years Tutanning (re Estimated 20 adults Declining trend NR As above introduced) over the last 10 years Dragon Rocks Estimated maximum of 30 adults NR As above (re introduced) Declining trend over the last 10 years Stirling Range No population estimates.