||This project aims to conduct a biological survey of the distribution, habitat requirements, population size and ecology of Sandhill Dunnart (Sminthopsis psammophila), to develop conservation strategies and a species recovery-plan to be formulated.
1. Re-survey all known South Australian and Western Australian capture sites;
2. Conduct an extensive survey of the Southern Great Victoria Desert and Eyre Peninsula in an attempt to define more precisely species distribution;
3. Undertake an ecological study, at one or more sites, to determine habitat requirements, diet, movements, natality and mortality;
4. Re-assess the conservation status of the species.
Data was also obtained on habitat composition and fire history for each of three sites, which provided captures of S. psammophila:
Great Victoria Desert (1 site);
Eyre Peninsula (2 sites).
Some scat analysis data is also available but not captured in BDBSA.
|Study Area Description:
||The area of the study included the southern half of the Great Victoria Desert in WA and SA, and the Eyre Peninsula of SA.
Great Victoria Desert, WA: (Mulga Rock) - A mosaic of marble gum and mallee woodland, both over spinifex (Triodia basedowii) with some shrubs. Area consists of undulating sand plain with areas of well defined parallel sand ridges up to 30 m high. (Queen Victoria Spring) - low open woodland of marble gum with occassional mallee and a diverse shrub layer. Spinifex (T. basedowiil) provides 25 % ground cover. The landform is an area of sand plain with low dunes 1 km to the north and north-east.
Great Victoria Desert, SA: (Yarle Lakes) - within a corridor of parallel dunes that run north-west from Ooldea. Vegetation is low open woodland of mallee, Bullock bush, Sandalwood, Mulga and Black Oak with a diverse and very open shrub layer. Spinifex (T.scariosa) provides 10 t o 30% ground cover. (Ooldea) - within a large area of confused sand dunes, 30 to 50 m high. Vegetation is low mallee woodland with False sandalwood and denser clumps of Cypress pine. Spinifex (T. scariosa) provides 30 to 70% of ground cover. (Mt Christie) - sand dunes, vegetation is low open mallee with False sandalwood, Bullock bush, Sandalwood, Mulga and Black oak. Shrub layer is diverse and spinifex (T. scariosa) provides 10 to 30% ground cover.
Eyre Peninsula: (Mamblin) - parallel sand dunes 10 to 15 m high separated by valleys 200 to 300 m wide. Semi-open areas of spinifex (T. lanata) appeared intermittently on dune slopes. Originally uniform covering of mallee with an understorey of broombush and other shrubs. Area has been cleared for agriculture. (Boonerdo) - very similar to Mamblin. (Cowell) - vegetation on dunes, mallee with Cypress and Hakea. Understorey of mixed shrubs and 30 to 85% spinifex (T. irritans) ground cover. (Middleback) - parallel sand dunes 10 to 20 m high. Mallee overstorey, and diverse shrub understorey.