Kimberley brush-tailed phascogale  |  

Phascogale tapoatafa kimberleyensis

Status: Vulnerable on the EPBC Act list

The brush-tailed phascogale is uniformly grizzled grey above, and cream to white below. Its ears are large and bare. It has a conspicuous black ‘bottle-brush’ on the distal two-thirds of the tail, on which the hairs grow to 55 millimetres long. The Kimberley subspecies (P. t. kimberleyensis) differs from the eastern subspecies (P. t. tapoatafa) externally with shorter, crisper and generally paler fur above, more extensive cream fur below, a relatively shorter tail, a more boldly patterned face with contrasting cream muzzle and cheek, and probable lower number of teats. The south-western subspecies (P. t. wambenger) also differs from the Kimberley subspecies externally, with lusher fur and generally darker colouration above, grey-based fur below, a much narrower zone of contrasting pale fur on the inside of the fore- and hind-limbs, a preauricular patch rarely developed, a relatively longer tail with more extensive furring of the base and longer ‘brush,’ much larger ears, and an inner metatarsal pad
smoothly united with first interdigital pad.

Government evidence of impact of climate change:

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  • Australian Government, Conservation Advice, Phascogale tapoatafa kimberleyensis

    Threats The Kimberley brush tailed phascogale is mainly threatened by inappropriate fire regimes and feral cats (Felis catus); and its distribution in isolated subpopulations may make it more vulnerable to local extirpation from these threats.
    It is assumed that the reasons for its decline (feral cat predation; changes in fire regimes; habitat degradation and cane toad poisoning) may also apply to the Kimberley brush tailed phascogale (DPaW 2016).
    As well as a decline in AOO and EOO; a decline in the quality of habitat is inferred; as the shift to a more extreme fire regime (of extensive high intensity fires) since the 1970s is known to affect woodland structure; hollow and food availability; including nectar availability (Williams et al.; 1999 Vigilante Bowman 2004).
    Maintain the viability of the subspecies; and increase abundance and geographic range; by managing threats from fire and feral cats 3.