Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory




Regional Maps


Placental Mammals

Compiler and date details

2006 - Further revised by ABRS, following Clayton et al. (2006)

1999 - Updated by Barry J. Richardson, Centre for Biostructural and Biomolecular Research, University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury

1986 - J.A. Mahoney & B.J. Richardson


Reviser's Preface 1999

The work is part of a revision of the Mammalia section of the Zoological Catalogue of Australia (Walton 1988). The intention was to include all new species described since 1986, to add the mammals of Australia’s External Territories and to take account of changes in the nomenclature resulting from taxonomic revisions during the intervening period. This revision, which includes the Prototheria and Metatheria, covers 368 mammalian species plus one recently extinct species.

The familial classification used in this work follows that of Walton & Richardson (1989). All species known to be present in Australia at the time of European settlement, plus any introduced species established as self-perpetuating feral populations in Australia, are included.

Out of respect for the original authors, I have made changes only where clear new evidence was available, otherwise the original authors' opinions have been retained. As part of the process, the ecological and distributional data were updated.

The bibliographies have also been updated to provide entry to the literature for the reader. The coverage, as with the previous edition, is not intended to be exhaustive in any sense and I have deliberately concentrated on references of relevance to those interested in the general biology of these species. The highly specialised literature, for example in genetics, microanatomy, physiology, has not been included.

The bulk of the literature on Australian mammals can be found in less than a dozen journals and the excellent series of symposia organised by the Australian Mammal Society and the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Extending the coverage beyond these sources is difficult and in doing so one cannot fail to be impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the bibliographic work of John Calaby whose lists of current literature, published by the Australian Mammal Society from 1958 to 1998, is close to exhaustive. These can be found in the publications of the Australian Mammal Society, particularly Australian Mammalogy.

John’s death during 1998 was a great loss to Australian mammalogy, and to his friends and admirers. As the first edition of the mammal volume of the Zoological Catalogue was dedicated to Jack Mahoney, it is proper, and my privilege, to respectfully dedicate this revision to that master of the literature, John Calaby.

Then we knew the man before us was a Master of our callin';
One of those great lords of language gone for ever from Outback;
Heroes of an ancient order
'An Old Master' C.J. Dennis


The task of transferring the Mammalia to Platypus, a relational database package for taxonomists and which was used to compile the Catalogue and prepare this Internet report; entering new data; and editing the entire volume are the result of the work of many hands. I would like to acknowledge the skill and hard work of Sheryn Phillips, the library staff at UWS Hawkesbury, the staff of the Zoological Catalogue Unit of the Australian Biological Resources Study, and, particularly, Christine Richardson in this task.

Database Notes

The information on the Australian Faunal Directory site for the Eutheria is derived from the Zoological Catalogue of Australia database compiled on the Platypus software program. It incorporates changes made to the work published on 13 April 1988 as (Walton, D.W. & Richardson, B.J. (eds), 1989)

The database was updated by B.J. Richardson in 1999, incorporating subspecies names, common names and the CAVS biocode derived from the ABRS Census of Australian Vertebrate Species (CAVS). Some additional distribution data has also been included.

The database was revised following designation of CAVS numbers to subspecies by Clayton et al. (2006).

Limital Area

Distribution data in the Directory is by political and geographic region descriptors and serves as a guide to the distribution of a taxon. For details of a taxon's distribution, the reader should consult the cited references (if any) at genus and species levels.

Australia is defined as including Lord Howe Is., Norfolk Is., Cocos (Keeling) Ils, Christmas Is., Ashmore and Cartier Ils, Macquarie Is., Australian Antarctic Territory, Heard and McDonald Ils, and the waters associated with these land areas of Australian political responsibility. Political areas include the adjacent waters.

Terrestrial geographical terms are based on the drainage systems of continental Australia, while marine terms are self explanatory except as follows: the boundary between the coastal and oceanic zones is the 200 m contour; the Arafura Sea extends from Cape York to 124 DEG E; and the boundary between the Tasman and Coral Seas is considered to be the latitude of Fraser Island, also regarded as the southern terminus of the Great Barrier Reef.

Distribution records, if any, outside of these areas are listed as extralimital. The distribution descriptors for each species are collated to genus level. Users are advised that extralimital distribution for some taxa may not be complete.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
12-Feb-2010 (import)