Species profile

Stripe-faced Dunnart

Stripe-faced Dunnart

Range and abundance

The Stripe-faced Dunnart occurs throughout much of inland Australia, extending into central and northern NSW, central and western Queensland, most of Northern Territory, and central and northern Western Australia.

Description

The Stripe-faced Dunnart is 70 - 100 mm in body length, with a tail of 80 - 110 mm (about 1.25 times the head-body length), and weighs 15 - 25 g. It is grey-brown above with white feet and underparts, and has a distinct black stripe that extends from between the ears to between the eyes. The tail stores fat to be utilised in times of food shortage. It is distinguished from the similar Fat-tailed Dunnart by its comparatively longer tail.

Ecology

Stripe-faced Dunnarts live in a very broad range of habitats including bluebush, saltbush, tussock-grass, spinifex, acacia shrub-lands, and salt lakes. They eat invertebrates, lizards and occasionally other small mammals. They are strictly nocturnal, sheltering by day in soil cracks and under rocks, logs and animal burrows. Breeding occurs from June to February when the young are born after a very short gestation period of 11 days. They are at first nurtured in a pouch for around 40 days and then suckled in a nest for another month.

Threats

Over-grazing by feral herbivores is a major threat as these animals that occur in shrub-lands and tussock grasslands. Clearing of habitat is also a threat, as well as fires which are often too frequent and extensive. Other threats include predation by cats and foxes.  

What is AWC doing?

AWC protects the habitat of the Stripe-faced Dunnart by reducing numbers of feral herbivores and predators, and by implementing effective fire management which reduces extensive hot late season fires. 

Did you know:

The Stripe-faced Dunnart can move considerable distances despite its small size. In one night an individual can traverse around 300 – 2000 m, and they are able to rapidly recolonise new areas after rainfall.