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Keywords:

  • Conservation;
  • extinction;
  • marsupial;
  • predation

Abstract

Many mammal species are declining in parts of Australia's tropical savannas, for reasons that are not yet well defined. A recent paper (Fisher et al., 2014, Global Ecology and Biogeography, 23, 181–190) suggested that the primary cause is predation by feral cats, with the main evidence presented being a purported over-representation of small species amongst the marsupials that have contracted in range (‘small body size signifies high current extinction risk’). However, a review here of the information presented in that paper shows that no marsupial species smaller than 100 g has shown range contraction in northern Australia, and that most (15 of 17) declines are of species in the ‘critical weight range’ (35 g to 5.5 kg).