The mystery of the Top End’s vanishing wildlife

12 August 2020

Only a few decades ago, encountering a bandicoot or quoll around your campsite in the evening was a common and delightful experience across the Top End. Now sadly rare and the cause of the widespread mammal declines has long been unknown.

Finally, a major study across 300 sites in the Top End by the Northern Territory Government has revealed causes and points to solutions. The most important driver of the loss is habitat degradation by feral livestock (buffaloes, horses, cattle and donkeys) and too hot, extensive and frequent fire.

 

buffalo photo

By degrading habitat (eg less dense grasses and shrubs) feral livestock and too much fire remove important food and shelter for native animals and make them more vulnerable to cats and dingoes. It’s crucial we start managing habitat better, before we lose more of our precious mammal species.

The research was supported by the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program and Charles Darwin University.

You can read more about the study here, and find more project info here.

Recent Hub News

  • Nov 27, 2020

    Congratulations!

    16-year collaboration wins two Territory Natural Resource Management Awards We’re honoured to have won not one but TWO Territory NRM […]

  • Nov 25, 2020

    Setting standards for mine-site rehabilitation

    Ants and other animals key to tracking rehabilitation Studying ants and other animals is helping scientists in Australia’s north to […]

  • Nov 19, 2020

    Machine learning helps to map gamba grass from space

    Researchers from CSIRO, Charles Darwin University and The University of Western Australia have developed a machine-learning approach that reliably detects […]

  • fsdf
View more Hub news

North Australia News

Our Northern Hub Newsletter highlights what's going on in our research projects across northern Australia. It includes latest findings, what's coming up and what this all means for sustainable development and land and water management in the region.

Latest eNewsletters

Stay Informed

Want to know more about Hub activities and the development of northern Australia? Stay informed of activities, research, publications, events and more through the Hub Newsletter.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required