|Northern Territory Status: Endangered
Australian Status: Endangered
|Compiled by Gabriel Crowley & Mark Ziembicki based on Woinarski J.C.Z., Pavey C., Kerrigan R., Cowie I. & Ward S. 2007. Lost from our Landscape - Threatened Species of the Northern Territory. Northern Territory Department of Natural Resources, Environment and the Arts, Darwin.|
|Last updated June 2009|
What it looks like: Central Rock-rat is a medium-sized, stocky rodent, with thick and soft yellowish-brown fur above and cream or white fur below. It has a long, thick and furry tail and a distinctive ‘Roman nose’.
Where it lives: The Central Rock-rat is primarily a seed-eater of tussock and spinifex grasslands and low open woodland in arid rocky ranges. It was once found across central Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and was thought to have gone extinct until its rediscovery in the MacDonnell Ranges in 1996. There have been no records of the species since 2002.
Importance as an indicator: The decline of the Central Rock-rat is a signal that all is not well in arid land environments. While the ultimate cause has not been established, this species faces a range of pressures that together or alone could be responsible for its demise. These include unsustainable grazing by a combination of feral and domestic animals, predation by cats and foxes, and an altered fire regime that results in widespread, if infrequent, fires.
Look after Central Rock-rat by managing fire and feral animals. Establish a patchwork of recently burnt and long unburnt areas. Control rabbits and other grazing animals that compete for its food, and cats and foxes, which have had a significant impact on native arid land mammals.
Best Practice Management for Central Rock-rat
* Maintain ground layer * Control pest animals * Graze moderately and periodically spell country from grazing * Manage fire * More information is needed about this species
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