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Analysis and Comment (17)

Could Australia’s new threatened species commissioner be the break Tasmania’s endangered devils need? Could Australia’s new threatened species commissioner be the break Tasmania’s endangered devils need? jomilo75/Flickr

Threatened species win a voice in Canberra – but it’s too late for some

Australia’s threatened animals and plants may have received a small win today — the announcement of Australia’s first threatened species commissioner by Environment Minister Greg Hunt in Melbourne. The…
A greater stick-nest rat ready to be released - with radio collar attached. A greater stick-nest rat ready to be released - with radio collar attached. Arid Recovery

From the frontline: saving Australia’s threatened mammals

Almost a third of Australia’s mammals have become extinct or are facing extinction, largely thanks to introduced predators such as cats and foxes. But what is the best way to save the species still alive…
What’s the best way to give Australia’s mammals a helping hand? What’s the best way to give Australia’s mammals a helping hand? Northern Australia Hub, National Environmental Research Program

To save Australia’s mammals we need a change of heart

Twenty-nine Australian land mammals have become extinct over the last 200 years, and 56 are currently facing extinction. These losses and potential losses represent over a third of the 315 species present…
Back after going missing for more than a century: the New Guinea big-eared bat. Back after going missing for more than a century: the New Guinea big-eared bat. Julie Broken-Brow/supplied

‘Lost’ bat species rediscovered after 120 years in the wilderness

More than a century after it was “lost”, the New Guinea big-eared bat has been discovered by Queensland researchers working in Papua New Guinea’s forests. The critically endangered bat was thought to be…
Another mass extinction? Bring it on! Another mass extinction? Bring it on! boogeyman13

How mass extinctions drove the evolution of dinosaurs

For 20 privileged Victorians, Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins held a lavish New Year’s dinner party in 1853 inside a model of a dinosaur that was created for the Great Exhibition held two years earlier. Hawkins’s…
Like many island animals, the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is critically endangered. Like many island animals, the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is critically endangered. Jody Gates

Australian endangered species: Kangaroo Island Dunnart

Island fauna are particularly vulnerable to new threats. Not only do they have a very limited population size and distribution to begin with, they can display extreme naïveté to new predators, due to a…
I’m more of a cricket man, really. I’m more of a cricket man, really. Ben Birchall/PA

By studying animal behaviour we gain an insight into our own

In the field of animal behaviour, there is one topic that is almost guaranteed to get your study in the popular press: showing how an animal behaves just like humans. This can be solving problems, using…
Flowers don’t please everyone. Flowers don’t please everyone. nathaninsandiego

Blooming flowers rang the death knell for many mammals

Hummingbird-pollinated flowers evolved perfectly to suit the bird’s bill shape, its colour vision and even its taste buds. This is the beauty of co-evolution, where two species interact so closely that…
Woylie have decline by up to 95% since 2001. Why is a mystery. Woylie have decline by up to 95% since 2001. Why is a mystery. Flickr/Arthur Chapman

Australian endangered species: Woylie

The introduced red fox (Vulpes vulpes) has had a devastating impact of Australia’s native mammal fauna, particularly on those in the “Critical Weight Range”, between 35 and 5500 grams. Combined with landscape…
The Lesser Stick-nest Rat is poorly known, and definitely didn’t climb around in trees. The Lesser Stick-nest Rat is poorly known, and definitely didn’t climb around in trees. Wikimedia Commons

Australian endangered species: Lesser Stick-nest Rat

Australia has the world’s worst mammalian extinction records. Since 1788, 21 species have gone extinct in Australia and its territories. This includes 10 rodents, mostly from the arid interior. As with…
Mammals are disappearing across northern Australia; the Capentarian Rock-rat is one of them. Mammals are disappearing across northern Australia; the Capentarian Rock-rat is one of them. Damien Stanioch

Australian endangered species: Carpentarian Rock-rat

Mammals are disappearing in Australia’s Top End, and we’re not really sure why. This is particularly concerning as northern Australia has a human population density of one person per ten square kilometres…
The decline of digging mammals, such as this bilby, is threatening Australia’s ecosystems. The decline of digging mammals, such as this bilby, is threatening Australia’s ecosystems. AAP Image/National Parks and Wildlife

Losing Australia’s diggers is hurting our ecosystems

Despite once being described as common, mammals have been lost across the Australian landscape over the last 200 years. The impact has been particularly severe on Australia’s digging mammals, including…
A Bramble Cay Melomys nibbling on some island herbage. A Bramble Cay Melomys nibbling on some island herbage. Queensland Government

Australian endangered species: Bramble Cay Melomys

The Bramble Cay Melomys (Melomys rubicola) has one of the most unusual and precarious distributions of all Australian mammals. The melomys is restricted to an unstable 4-5 hectare coral cay in the eastern…
You are the one, lemur. Stay with me. You are the one, lemur. Stay with me. Tambako The Jaguar

Why mammals prefer to have just one sexual partner

While people cheating on their partners is frowned upon in modern society, monogamy among mammals is something of an evolutionary puzzle. Some stick to one sexual partner for a lifetime. That is why the…
The Central Rock-rat appears to have disappeared. Why? The Central Rock-rat appears to have disappeared. Why? DLRM, NT Government

Australian endangered species: Central Rock-rat

Australia’s small arid zone mammals have greatly suffered since European settlement. Some 11 species are extinct, and a further eight are listed as endangered or critically endangered. Their loss has been…
An early dry season fire in Kakadu National Park – are these fires burning up our mammals? An early dry season fire in Kakadu National Park – are these fires burning up our mammals? Clay Trauernicht

Scientists and national park managers are failing northern Australia’s vanishing mammals

Conservationists should take heart that Australia is finally waking up to the biodiversity crisis in Australia’s north. It is an urgent problem: right now, a diverse assortment of our small mammals – bandicoots…

Research and News (1)

Research Briefs (11)

New mammals discovered in Congo

Four new mammal species have been discovered in the eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. The mammals were…

Meet your ancestor, the shrew

Placental mammals like elephants, bats and humans evolved from small, insect-eating mammals, a study led by Stony Brook University…