Threatened Species of the Capricorn Region

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Threatened Mammal species 

Endangered
There are three mammal species in the Capricornia region that fall into this category.

Definition: A species is considered to be endangered if-  it has not been seen in the wild for a period of time, habitat has been reduced to the point where the species is in danger of extinction, the population size has reduced to a point where the species is in danger of extinction or the survival of the species in the wild is unlikely if a threatening process continues.  

Endangered Threatened by
Wombat
Northern hairy–nosed Wombat
A major threat is predation wild dogs.  Other threats to the population are disease such as toxoplasmosis (found in cat faeces) or mange and while cattle and sheep may have contributed to the decline of the wombat through competition for food the current population at Epping Forest is kept in a fenced enclosure.
Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Predation, primarily by foxes and feral cats, and some predation from wild dogs, habitat loss, modification and degradation (through land clearing, drought, fire, and buffel grass) and competition with introduced stock (mainly sheep) and rabbits. 
Bilby Bilby  Habitat loss and change, and competition with introduced animals.  As agricultural activities extended over the more fertile regions of Australia the Bilby's habitat has changed rapidly. Changing fire patterns also affect the type and abundance of food plants.  Competition with introduced animals is a major threat as domestic stock like cattle and sheep eat the same plants. Rabbits compete with Bilbies for their food and burrows and foxes and feral cats also prey on them.

Vulnerable
There are five mammal species  in the Capricornia region that are in this category.

Definition: A species is considered to be vulnerable if its population is decreasing, its population has been seriously depleted, its population is at risk from a threatening process, its population is localised or depends on a limited habitat. 

Vulberable     Threatened by
Coastal Sheathtail Bat    It is suspected that alteration of foraging habitat through sand mining and coastal development threatens the species.
Dugong Dugong  Dugong are particularly vulnerable to boat strike as they come to the surface to breathe, putting them directly in the path of boats and other watercraft. Boats travelling at speed or in shallow waters over seagrass beds or coral reefs pose the greatest threats.  Dugongs are also under threat from diminishing food sources. Seagrass meadows, are being detrimentally affected by pollution (pollutants can include herbicide runoff, sewage, detergents, heavy metals, hypersaline water from desalination plants, and other waste products), algal blooms, high boat traffic and turbid waters.
False Water Rat     In the past 30 years, local population reductions and disappearances have been recorded in Queensland and the Northern Territory. The water mouse is mostly threatened by habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation. This has resulted from urban development, sand mining, land reclamation, swamp drainage, feral animals, recreational vehicles, discharge of polluted waters and chemical pollution (runoff from agricultural and urban lands, exposure of acid sulphate soils and off-shore pollution events).
Ghost Bat    Known threats to the ghost bat are disturbance to roost sites from mining operations, collapse of old mines, or human disturbance. Also suspected as threats, are reduction in prey populations related to predation from cats and foxes, or changed fire regimes.
Humpback Whale    Whales were nearly hunted to extinction and in the early 1960’s it was estimated there were less than 500 left.  Today the population has recovered to around 10,000.

What can you do to help?
If you would like to help our threatened species there are a number of ways that you can get involved.  You can contact the CCC Coordinator to enquire about community involvement or you can become directly involved in one of the programs described below.

Bilby
You can donate to the Save the Bilby Fund by going to the web site at  http://www.savethebilbyfund.com/ 

Wombat
You can join or donate to the Wombat Foundation at http://www.wombatfoundation.com.au/ 
You can volunteer as a caretaker at the Epping Forest National Park captive breeding project by contacting the QPWS office in Rockhampton who will put you in touch with the Ranger in charge at 07 49360511.   Volunteer to assist at the Hairy-nosed Wombat Research Centre based at Rockhampton Zoo.  Contact the Customer Service Centre on 1300 22 55 77.

Bridled Nailtail Wallaby
You can join or donate to the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Trust at http://www.bntwallaby.org.au/to_donate  You can also volunteer for Project Kial at Taunton National Park near Rockhampton, for further information go to http://www.bntwallaby.org.au/conservation/captive_breeding_-_project_kial

Dugong
Seagrass-Watch is a community-based monitoring program developed by Queensland's Primary Industries and Fisheries (QPI&F) in conjunction with CRC Reef, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and community groups.  Seagrass-Watch collects data about the condition and trend of near-shore seagrasses throughout Queensland and provides an early warning of major changes in seagrass abundance, distribution and species composition.  If you are interested in becoming a Seagrass-Watch volunteer check out the web site http://www.seagrasswatch.org/home.html


Information source
The source of information for the threatened mammal species in Capricornia was the Department of Environment and Resource Management (DERM) website at http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/wildlife-ecosystems/wildlife/threatened_plants_and_animals/index.html