Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Presumed Extinct (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Extinct (Global Status: IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2013.1 list)
Scientific name Potorous platyops [195]
Family Potoroidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Gould, 1844)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

Scientific name: Potorous platyops

Common name: Broad-faced Potoroo

Other names: Moda (Nyoongar tribal name)

The Broad-faced Potoroo had a head and body length of about 24 cm, and a tail roughly 18 cm long. This species was a grizzled-grey colour above and dusky white below. Its English name came from the broad skull (Burbidge 2004b; Butler & Merrilees 1971).

The Broad-faced Potoroo was collected from the Western Australian wheatbelt and east of Albany. Fossil evidence suggests it was once distributed throughout much of semi-arid south-western Western Australia and coastal South Australia. The type specimen was obtained near Goomalling, Western Australia, in 1842. The last specimens were dated 1874 or 1875. It is not known how long the species may have survived after that (Burbidge 2004b).

The only information on the habitat of the Broad-faced Potoroo was provided in a note by John Gould, quoting John Gilbert: 'All I could glean of its habitat was that it was killed in a thicket surrounding one of the salt lagoons of the interior' (Gould 1863a). It appears not to have inhabited forested areas as the localities of the six specimens of known origin were to the north and east of the forests of south-western Australia (Kitchener 1995a).

The Broad-faced Potoroo was apparently extinct well before foxes arrived in Western Australia and before widespread land clearing. Its disappearance may have been due to predation by feral cats (Burbidge 2004b).

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Potorous platyops in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006uc) [Internet].

Burbidge, A. (2004b). Threatened Animals of Western Australia. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.

Butler, W.H. & D. Merrilees (1971). Remains of Potorous platyops, (Marsupialia, Macropodidae) and other mammals from Bremer Bay, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 54:53-58.

Gould, J. (1863a). The mammals of Australia (reissued 1983 incorporating the three original volumes published between 1845-63, with modern commentaries by J.M. Dixon. Melbourne, Victoria: Macmillan.

Kitchener, D.J. (1995a). Broad-faced Potoroo Potorous platyops. In: Strahan, R., ed. The Mammals of Australia. Page(s) 300-301. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Potorous platyops in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Sun, 21 Sep 2014 17:32:50 +1000.