Threats/Control Methods - RegionalHigh frequency fires pose an ongoing threat to the life cycle of this species and the vegetation on which it depends.
Threats/Control Methods - LocalFree roaming domestic pets will kill these small mammals
Local/Urban ActionsProviding domestic pets with a stimulating enclosed environment will decrease the threat of attacks to the Yellow-footed Antechinus. A garden that includes a leafy ground cover will encourage the small mammals to forage.
This small species has a body length of 9-16cm with a 7-15cm tail. It has a slate-grey coloured head and back, while the rump, belly and sides are a red-brown colour. It has fairly big, round black eyes, a pointed snout with a dark nose and whiskers. If you get close enough, the two pale, crescent shaped markings above and below the eyes can be seen. The very tip of the tail is usually black.
This Antechinus is one of the most colourful small mammals and the colour transition from grey to warm red-brown is unique.
This species is found from northeast QLD down to western VIC and in the southwest area of WA.
Country of Origin
This species was identified by trapping.
Conservation (Pet/Pest) Status - National
Secure, not listed under the EPBC Act 1999.
Associated vegetation community
This species requires a good layer of leaf litter or forest vegetation to forage through for prey.
This species breeds once a year, in late August to early September. After a vigorous 12-hour mating session, the males die. Females are left to care for the young alone. About a month after mating, 12 young are born, spending five weeks in their mother's pouch, constantly attached to their mother's teat. At around three months they are weaned and live in their leafy nest to about 12 months of age.
This antechinus is nervous and cheeky, often visiting suburban households and their gardens. It moves with swift, darting movements and can run upside down along tree braches and rocks. During the day it scampers through leaf litter in search of prey and nests at night. Males are known to travel further from their nest than females. Throughout most of the year it prefers to be solitary. However, in the lead up to breeding season, animals come together and males can be aggressive towards one another, often loosing hair in fights.
Feral and domestic Cats (Felis catus ) and predatory birds like the Boobook Owl (Ninox novaeseelandiae) attack and eat this species.
Although they are sometimes referred to as marsupial mice, the Yellow-footed Antechinus is the ecological equivalent of a shrew, weasel or a mongoose in other parts of the world.
References - (reader suitability of references, P=Primary teachers, S=Secondary students, T=Tertiary students and researchers)
Books:Straham, R. 1983. The Australian Museum Complete Book of Australian Mammals. The National Photographic Index of Australian Wildlife. Angus and Robertson Publishers. Sydney. P, S, T
Online Publications:Tidemann, C., Roscoe, T. and Mitchell, B. 2006. Mammals of the Lower Sullivans Creek Catchment, Canberra ACT. Prepared for the Life in the Suburbs project using data from the Lower Sullivans Creek Catchment Ecological Survey (LSCCES). Australian National University. Canberra. [online]. Available at: http://www.lifeinthesuburbs.com.au/category.php?id=65 S, T
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. 2004. Ecological consequences of high frequency fires - key threatening process declaration. Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW). [online]. Available at: http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/npws.nsf/Content/Ecological+consequences+of+high+frequency+fires+key+threatening+process+declaration S, T
Smith, G. 1984. The Biology of the Yellow-Footed Antechinus, Antechinus flavipes (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae), in a Swamp Forest on Kinaba Island, Cooloola, Queensland. Aust. Wildl. Res. 11: 465-80. [online]. Available at: http://www.publish.csiro.au/?act=view_file&file_id=WR9840465.pdf T
Researcher: Naomi Hogan