Department of Environment and Natural Resources, South Australia, 2011
- Recovery Plan for the Kangaroo Island Dunnart Sminthopsis aitkeni (PDF - 1,105 KB) | (Word - 1,602 KB)
The Kangaroo Island Dunnart (Sminthopsis aitkeni) is endemic to Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Its current distribution on Kangaroo Island is unknown, although all recent records (since 1990) have come from sites on the western end of the island, within Flinders Chase National Park and the Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection Area. Extensive survey work has failed to locate the species elsewhere; and although early records came from the eastern end of the Island, clearance or modification of the habitat in these areas has reduced the likelihood of dunnarts still occurring there.
Studies have indicated that the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is a habitat generalist, occupying a range of floristic vegetations types and post-fire seral stages. Within its range, the species is known from only 35 records and it is likely that the population is fewer than 500 dunnarts. Major threats include wildfire and inappropriate fire regimes; Phytophthora cinnamomi dieback; land clearing, degradation and fragmentation of suitable habitat; and predation by Feral Cats and native predators.
The Kangaroo Island Dunnart is currently listed as ‘Endangered’ under both the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and South Australian National Parks and Wildlife Act 1972. This Recovery Plan for the Kangaroo Island Dunnart is the first Recovery Plan for the species. The plan details the species’ distribution and biology, conservation status, threats, and recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure its long-term survival.