Native rodents of the Top End – conservation genomics

Genomic diversity assessment of priority threatened native rodents of the Top End: Conilurus penicillatus and Mesembriomys gouldii.

We currently have very little information on genetic structure and diversity of native mammals across the Top End and Kimberley regions of northern Australia. This is especially true of many of the priority threatened and declining native rodents of the region. Major declines in distribution and abundance have occurred over recent decades, but there has been little assessment of trends in genetic diversity.

This project will provide baseline assessments of genomic diversity in two priority threatened mammals, the brush-tailed rabbit rat (Conilurus penicillatus) and the black-footed tree-rat (Mesembriomys gouldii)

Generating conservation genomic data through this project will enable us to begin building a genomic perspective of the conservation status of Northern Australian mammals and consider this information in relation to conservation management and future research priorities.

Project coordinators:

  • Sam Banks (Charles Darwin University)
  • Brenton von Takach Dukai (Charles Darwin University)
  • Holly Sargent (Charles Darwin University)

Project collaborators:

  • Brydie Hill (DENR, NT)
  • Ian Radford (Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, WA)
  • John Kanowski (Australian Wildlife Conservancy)
  • James Smith (Australian Wildlife Conservancy
  • Brett Murphy (Charles Darwin University)
  • Hugh Davies (Charles Darwin University)
  • Cara Penton (Charles Darwin University)