Australasian Carnivorous Marsupials: Dasyuromorphia
Many Australasian carnivorous marsupials have not been studied by scientists. There are no good estimates of how many are left in the wild and how things such as deforestation (clearing the land of trees) are affecting them. One family in this order, Tasmanian wolves, has already gone extinct. The last time a Tasmanian wolf was confirmed to exist in the wild was in 1930. The last remaining animal was in captivity in a zoo and died shortly thereafter in 1936.
Many Australasian carnivorous marsupials such as the southern dibbler and the sandhill dunnart are considered to be Endangered, or facing a very high risk of becoming extinct in the wild. Many others are considered Vulnerable, which means they face a high risk of extinction in the wild.
There are many reasons that Australasian carnivorous marsupials are facing the threat of extinction. The cutting down of forest areas to clear land for agriculture affects many species, as does the changing pattern of fires set to clear grassland areas. Many species are Vulnerable or Endangered in Australia and surrounding areas because of the introduction of the red fox, which is not native to the region. In areas where the red fox is found, populations of Australasian carnivorous mammals have substantially decreased.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Fenton, Julie A. Kangaroos and Other Marsupials. Chicago: World Book, 2000.
Hoare, Ben, ed. International Wildlife Encyclopedia, 3rd ed. Tarrytown, NY: Marshall Cavendish, 2002.
Nowak, Ronald M., ed. Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed. Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991.
Woods, Samuel G. Sorting Out Mammals: Everything You Want to Know About Marsupials, Carnivores, Herbivores, and More! Woodbridge, CT: Blackbirch Marketing, 1999.
Hecht, Jeff. "The Sun Warmed Up Evolution For Us All." New Scientist (August 31, 2002): 17.
"The Amazing Marsupials." Australian Ark Documentary Series. Columbia Tristar, 1994.
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