Past and present distribution of Dasycercus: toward a better understanding of the identity of specimens in cave deposits and the conservation status of the currently recognised species D. blythi and D. cristicauda (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae) Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • Maps of the distribution of the two currently recognised species of Dasycercus, D. blythi and D. cristicauda have been prepared following correct identification based on tail morphology of specimens in the modern collections of all Australian museums. Localities in which the remains of Dasycercus have been found in cave deposits have also been mapped and an attempt made to determine the specific identity of some of these specimens. Following examination of larger samples of each species, differences in the premolar dentition were found to no longer be diagnostic. Most cave specimens could not be assigned to species on the basis of some dental measurements. DNA sequences could provide a means for establishing the identity of the cave specimens. Correct identification of specimens, together with knowledge of the search effort underlying the known distribution and persistence of the species in localities over their ranges, is essential for assessment of their conservation status.

publication date

  • 2013

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