Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Studies of the ground-dwelling mammals of eucalypt forests in south-eastern New South Wales: the species, their abundance and distribution

PC Catling and RJ Burt

Wildlife Research 21(2) 219 - 239
Published: 1994


We examined the distribution and abundance of ground-dwelling mammals in the major eucalypt communities within 500 000 ha of eucalypt forest in south-eastern New South Wales. Data for 22 species of mammal are presented from 13 areas comprising 42 eucalypt communities. Two features were the abundance and widespread distribution of the introduced red fox and cat, and the absence of small wallabies (potoroo size) and low abundance of other medium-sized native mammals such as bandicoots. Six mammal species occurred in all areas and in most eucalypt communities. Although there were differences in the distribution and abundance of species between areas there was no significant difference between areas in the number of native and introduced species. Some mammal species were absent from some eucalypt communities, but no eucalypt community was devoid of ground-dwelling mammals and each had native and introduced species present. The E. fastigata group had the highest number of species (14) and one community (E. fastigata-E. cypellocarpa) contained the highest number of native (9) and introduced (4) species. The E. maculata group contained the lowest number of native species with eastern grey kangaroos absent and common wombats present in one community only. The results of this study suggest that management options for arboreal mammals may not apply to the ground-dwelling mammals. The ground-dwelling mammals present today in south-eastern New South Wales appear to be remnants of a more diverse fauna left after clearing, forestry activities and predation by introduced species. Some species are in urgent need of protection and management if they are to persist.


© CSIRO 1994

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