EPBC Status: Endangered
Found in: Western Australia, Northern Territory and New South Wales (translocated captive population)
Year 3 Scorecard Summary (2018)
Mala are small marsupials with reddish-orange fur. Following European settlement, Mala suffered catastrophic declines throughout arid and semi-arid Australia, due to predation by foxes and feral cats and altered fire regimes. The last population was removed from the wild in 1991 and translocated to Trimouille Island off the WA Pilbara coast. All surviving Mala are now in managed areas where introduced predators are excluded, either on Trimouille Island or in predator-free fenced exclosures.
Since 2015, the older rescued populations have generally remained stable while more recently established populations have generally been increasing in numbers. While overall numbers are still very low, the trajectory of Mala is improving due to sustained and intensive efforts by many individuals and organisations over many years. Limited genetic diversity remains an ongoing issue for active management, as all existing Mala populations are descended from a small number of individuals from the last wild population sourced for captive breeding. Future challenges include establishing Mala populations without relying on islands and fenced exclosures that are cat- and fox-free.
- Threatened species strategy
- 20 birds by 2020
- 20 mammals by 2020
- 30 plants by 2020
- Three year review of progress on priority bird and mammal species
Please note that this scorecard is due for review in Year 5 of the Threatened Species Strategy (2020). If you would like to contribute information on this species please provide your contact details to ThreatenedSpeciesCommissioner@awe.gov.au
Photo credit: Babs & Bert Wells (CALM)