Nature conservation

Threatened species

Stripe-faced Dunnart - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Sminthopsis macroura
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 09 Jun 2022


A mouse-sized marsupial which is pale grey-brown above, with white underparts and feet. It has a slender pointed muzzle and a distinct black stripe that extends from between the eyes to between the ears. Individuals weigh between 1525 g. The total length of Stripe-faced Dunnart is approximately 180 mm, the tail is longer than the head-body length (the sympatric Fat-tailed Dunnart has a shorter tail length than the head-body length) and is often carrot-shaped.


The Stripe-faced Dunnart is distributed throughout much of inland central and northern Australia, extending into central and northern NSW, western Queensland, Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. They are rare on the NSW Central West Slopes and North West Slopes with the most easterly records of recent times located around Dubbo, Coonabarabran, Warialda and Ashford.

Habitat and ecology

  • Native dry grasslands and low dry shrublands, often along drainage lines where food and shelter resources tend to be better.
  • They shelter in cracks in the soil, in grass tussocks or under rocks and logs.
  • Co-occupies areas with the more common Fat-tailed Dunnart, but prefers relatively ungrazed habitats with greater diversity and healthier understorey vegetation.
  • The Stripe-faced Dunnart has the shortest gestation time of any mammal, with a gestation period of 10.5–11 days.
  • Captive animals are capable of breeding from June until February, and females are able to produce at least two litters.
  • In winter, animals enter torpor on an almost-daily basis to reduce energy costs.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthMoonie-Barwon Interfluve Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNarrandool Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Basalts Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Outwash Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthTalbragar Valley Predicted None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Known None
Broken Hill ComplexBarrier Range Outwash Known None
Broken Hill ComplexMootwingee Downs Known None
Broken Hill ComplexScopes Range Known None
Channel CountryBulloo Predicted None
Channel CountryBulloo Dunefields Predicted None
Channel CountryCentral Depression Predicted None
Channel CountryCore Ranges Known None
Channel CountrySturt Stony Desert Known None
Cobar PeneplainBarnato Downs Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainBoorindal Plains Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainCanbelego Downs Predicted None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsBogan-Macquarie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCastlereagh-Barwon Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsCulgoa-Bokhara Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsLouth Plains Predicted None
Darling Riverine PlainsMenindee Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsWarrambool-Moonie Known None
Darling Riverine PlainsWilcannia Plains Predicted None
Mulga LandsCuttaburra-Paroo Known None
Mulga LandsKerribree Basin Predicted None
Mulga LandsNebine Plains Known None
Mulga LandsParoo Overflow Predicted None
Mulga LandsParoo-Darling Sands Predicted None
Mulga LandsUrisino Sandplains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Plains Known None
Mulga LandsWarrego Sands Predicted None
Mulga LandsWest Warrego Known None
Mulga LandsWhite Cliffs Plateau Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
NandewarNandewar Northern Complex Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesLower Slopes Predicted None
Other StateQLD Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Simpson Strzelecki DunefieldsStrzelecki Desert Known None