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Yellow-footed Antechinus (deceased male)

Antechinus flavipes flavipes

Description:

I would usually refrain from posting a spotting of a dead animal, but this spotting is significant and probably something most people have never seen; the demise of an antechinus. A member of the family Dasyuridae, antechinus is a marsupial, not a rodent. The first antechinus I ever saw was 7 days prior to this one, and very close to this location too: https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/26... This spotting has plenty of species information, including their mating habits and post-coital death. I found this little guy dead on the track. What are the odds of finding two in a week, engaged in the 'circle of life'? For males of the antechinus species, a natural death is caused by stress-induced immune system breakdown after mating. However, since my last visit to Lake Manchester a week ago, there has been a controlled back-burning operation over several kilometres. My initial thought was he died from smoke inhalation, but that now seems unlikely, although not impossible. A large section of fur was missing from the hindquarters, but the remainding fur wasn't singed at all and was coming off quite freely on my hand. His skin didn't look burned either, nor was there any blistering. I'm no expert on the matter, but am confident the fur loss and subsequent death of this animal was more likely the result of stress, not fire. Regardless, I felt so sad to see his dead little body, so I gave him a respectful burial with leaves and twigs.

Habitat:

Occupies a variety of habitats, often in moist bracken, lantana and creek verges, in arid scrubland and sclerophyll forest, coastal heaths and swamps. This location is situated on the verge of a small rainforest pocket at Lake Manchester, a freshwater reservoir west of Brisbane. It is located in Brisbane Forest Park, an area of dense native bushland and subtropical rainforest.


No species ID suggestions

2 Comments

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 8 months ago

Thanks, Mark. Fire worries me more than anything, and it can be so devastating to wildlife, particularly for small animals like antechinus. I understand the need for back-burning in this country, but that doesn't help their cause. I hope this little guy had a happy life right up till the end. Had he been burned to smithereens, that vision would probably haunt me.

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 8 months ago

Nature can seem cruel. Great followup to your previous spotting Neil.
That sac tells the whole story I guess. ;-)

City of Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Lat: -27.49, Long: 152.77

Spotted on Jul 22, 2018
Submitted on Jul 27, 2018

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