Silverhead antechinus is considered extinct (Antechinus argentus) in Bowlborine National Park in eastern Queensland, MTI writes. The discovery means that the shrike-like bag survived devastating bushfires in the region in 2019-20.
The fires burned the species’ habitat to ashes in much of Polborine National Park.
Experts fear that all samples of the silver-tipped antibody discovered in 2013 could be lost in a natural disaster.
Andrew BakerA total of 21 individuals were found in the burnt and intact areas, a researcher at Queensland University of Technology said. As he pointed out, this is very good news and means that the rare animal has survived though.
A feature of the species is that male specimens usually die from great stress by the end of a very intense mating season. Usually most males do not survive this first mating season of about two weeks. Females rarely live, but can live for up to three seasons. According to Becker, elevated testosterone levels in males due to overactive testicles prevents the stress hormone from being blocked by cortisol, and thus the hormone overflows in individuals during their childbearing period, ultimately causing them to be toxic.
From late May to early June, experts used hunting dogs to search for handbags with support from the World Conservation Organization’s Australian office. Becker noted that due to climate change, the species remains threatened, with severe droughts and wildfires caused by their presence threatening. They are also at risk from non-native predators such as cats and other animals such as cattle, horses, and wild boars.