Diversity and Endemism of the Marsupials of Australia’s Top End and Kimberley

Alyson M. Stobo-Wilson, Teigan Cremona

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The Top End and Kimberley region of northern Australia covers a majority of Australia’s tropical savanna, comprising an area of ~950,000 km2. The phylogeography and diversity of species across the region are shaped by the combined influence of the monsoonal climate and landscape-scale biogeographic features. Temporal and spatial variation in water availability and disturbance regimes underpin the composition and structure of the region’s tropical savannas, while long periods of isolation resulting from biogeographic barriers such as the Carpentarian Gap have shaped the distribution and diversity of marsupial fauna, together forming a highly characteristic biota. Currently, 16 marsupial genera and 32 species occur in the region with almost half of the species recognized as endemic. Despite being one of the least developed and populated savannas globally, northern Australia’s marsupial fauna is facing unprecedented declines from a range of threatening processes. A detailed knowledge of the evolution and diversification of northern Australia’s marsupial fauna is needed to ensure their conservation. Advancements in molecular technology, landscape-scale conservation management, and better integration of Indigenous ecological knowledge are all key to the ongoing protection and identification of the rich marsupial diversity of Australia’s Top End and Kimberley region.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmerican and Australasian Marsupials
Subtitle of host publicationAn Evolutionary, Biogeographical, and Ecological Approach
EditorsNilton Cáceres, Christopher R. Dickman
PublisherSpringer
Chapter24
Pages745-767
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)9783031084195
ISBN (Print)9783031084188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

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