Biodiversity

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 Vulnerable
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
 
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzp) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA), 2008zzq) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
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 Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013 list)
Scientific name Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus [66661]
Family Macropodidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Gould,1842
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://petroleumclub.q-net.net.au//kid2kid/barrow9.htm

Scientific name: Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus

Common name: Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)

The species is conventionally accepted as Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus. One other subspecies is known, L. conspicillatus leichardti, which is found on the mainland of Australia (Ingleby 1991).

The Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island) is a stocky marsupial with distinctive bright orange rings around its eyes. It has brown fur above and white fur below. Individuals grow to 47 cm long and weigh up to 4.5 kg. It has a sparsely-haired tail which grows to 49 cm long. The species is generally solitary, though small groups of up to three have been seen feeding together (Cronin 1991; Strahan 1998).

This subspecies was formerly distributed on Barrow Island and on Hermite Island in the Montebello Group, Western Australia. It is now restricted to Barrow Island and Boomerang Island, which is joined to Barrow at low tide (Maxwell et al. 1996).

As the species occurs only on Barrow and Boomerang Islands, the extent of occurrence can be calculated to be approximately 233 km², the size of Barrow Island (Short & Turner 1991).

The population on Barrow Island is estimated at approximately 10 000, which is a density of approximately 42 individuals per square kilometre (Short & Turner 1991).

Barrow Island is a nature reserve managed by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation. Some mining infrastructure and activities occur on the island.

Barrow Island is a small limestone island dominated by Triodia grasslands. Spectacled Hare-wallabies (Barrow Island) occur in all vegetation types found on the island sheltering under Triodia tussocks from heat and predators. The shelters are sometimes referred to as 'squats', such as those used by European Hares (ABC 2010; Short & Turner 1991).

Young are sexually mature at approximately 12 months of age. Breeding occurs throughout the year, with peaks in March and again in September. Young vacate the pouch at approximately five months (ABC 2010; Whitfield 1998).

The subspecies is a nocturnal browser foraging on herbs, grass and fruits, and rarely drinking. Water is metabolized from food, supplemented by dew on early morning foliage. Spectacled Hare-wallabies have the most efficient kidneys of any mammal, with a urine production and water turnover equaling only 5.3% of total body water per day. They also have a nasal moisture retention mechanism, which recycles breath moisture to the stomach. A sphincter muscle structure removes any excess moisture from faecal material. Their two-toned fur allows reflective or heat absorbent capacity according to need (Wildlife Australia undated).

The high population density and large population size, together with the relatively safe status of the island, does not imply high security as a single isolated population is highly vulnerable to novel influences or catastrophic events. Reintroduction of a population to Hermite Island has been suggested as a high priority for protection of the species (Maxwell et al. 1996). Threats to the habitat include disturbance by oilfield activities especially gravel extraction and road construction, fire and the possibility of imported invasive species (Butler 1987). Cats and rats are implicated in the disappearance of the species from Hermite Island (Maxwell et al. 1996).

Threat abatement actions are contained within the following management documentation from the department:

  • Threat Abatement Plan for predation by the European red fox (DEWHA 2008zzq)
  • Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats (DEWHA 2008zzp).
  • Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (TSSC 2008db)

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
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mm) [Internet].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. (Butler, W.H., 1987) [Book].
Energy Production and Mining:Oil and Gas Drilling:Habitat modification due to oil/gas/petroleum activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Mechanical disturbance during construction, maintanance or recreational activities Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mm) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mm) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Predation, competition, habitat degradation and/or spread of pathogens by introduced species Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. (Butler, W.H., 1987) [Book].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:unspecified Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mm) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006mm) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. (Butler, W.H., 1987) [Book].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low genetic diversity and genetic inbreeding Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008db) [Conservation Advice].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].

Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) (2010). Island Life series. [Online]. Available from: http://www.abc.net.au/nature/island/ep3/locals/2.htm. [Accessed: 02-Jun-2010].

Butler, W.H. (1987). Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. Chipping Norton: Surrey Beatty.

Cronin, L. (1991). Key Guide to Australian Mammals. Balgowlah, NSW: Reed Books.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-mammals.html.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008zzp). Threat Abatement Plan for predation by feral cats. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/cats08.html.

Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts (DEWHA) (2008zzq). Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/tap/foxes08.html.

Ingleby, S. (1991). Distribution and status of the Spectacled Hare-wallaby, Lagorchestes conspicullatus. Wildlife Research vol. 18:501-519.

Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris (1996). The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. [Online]. Wildlife Australia, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/action-plan-australian-marsupials-and-monotremes.

Short, J. & B. Turner (1991). Distribution and abundance of spectacled hare-wallabies and euros on Barrow Island, Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 18:421-429.

Strahan, R. ed (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2008db). Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus (Spectacled Hare-wallaby (Barrow Island)). [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/66661-conservation-advice.pdf.

Whitfield, P. (1998). The Simon & Schuster Encyclopedia of Animals. Marshall Editions Development Limited, New York.

Wildlife Australia (undated). Hare wallaby (Lagorchestes conspicillatus). [Online]. Available from: http://www.wildlifeaustralia.org/images/file/Spectacled-Hare-Wallaby.pdf. [Accessed: 02-Jun-2010].

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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). Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 12 Jul 2014 10:31:49 +1000.