Rare Australian marsupial rediscovered

This is a 2017 Larapinta Trail video.

From Wildlife Extra:

‘Lost’ marsupial species found in Australia’s Northern Territory

08/06/2010 09:14:02

Long-tailed Dunnart found in West MacDonnell National Park

June 2010. Staff from the walking tour company Trek Larapinta have made an unusual wildlife find on the famous Larapinta Trail in Australia’s Northern Territory. The dead body of a Long-tailed Dunnart Sminthopsis longicaudata was recovered from a remote section of the trail; the animal appears to have died of natural causes.

This is an exceptional discovery. The last record of this species in the region was over a decade ago. Despite many searches by Park Rangers and scientists no trace of the creature has been found in recent years- until now.

Long-tailed Dunnarts

Long-tailed Dunnarts are one of the rarest and most elusive of native Australian marsupials. They are tiny nocturnal carnivores weighing less than 25g, and have been found in only a handful of remote mountainous desert areas. Their most conspicuous feature is their very long tail which is much longer than their body length and ends in a tuft of hair. Very little is known about the animal’s habits and some scientists think there may be less than 1000 of them left in the wild.

Mark Carter, the guide who found the dunnart and a former Parks Service Ranger, said: “We are really proud to have made this exciting discovery. It’s great to confirm that these animals are still out there and are not extinct in the MacDonnell ranges. Those of us who work on the Larapinta Trail know how vital these areas are for desert wildlife – this find really confirms that. Trek Larapinta has a strong focus on wildlife and we see it as an important part of job to collect data for the Parks and Wildlife Service on what we see and find out on the trail to help them manage the Park well.”

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