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Mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda)


The Mulgara

The mulgara lives in the deserts of central Australia and Western Australia. There is limited information on the origins of the mulgara. It is believed that the population of the mulgara is dependent on the quality of each season. This species is classified as “vulnerable”.

Mulgara are not fond of the heat and will retreat into their burrow. Burrows can be found on sand dunes possible in close proximity to other mulgara burrows. Mulgara tend to be very social with one another. Mulgara are primarily nocturnal, probably more so in the summer to avoid the heat; however some mulgara will enjoy the sun on warmer winter days.

Sand colored fur covers the back of the mulgara (possibly as a survival tool) and fades into a pale grey on the underbelly and chin. The first half of tail has the same coloration as the body; the second half of the tail is covered in bushy, black fur. Short, round ears and a short nose are also present on the mulgara. The tail of the mulgara averages 100mm, the head and body together average 180mm, and the total body weight is about 130g.

The mulgara will eat small rodents, reptiles, spiders, etc. Evidence gathered from mulgara pellets and urine suggests that this species needs no water outside of the water obtained from prey.

Breeding season occurs during the winter months. It is believed that gestation lasts for at least one month. A single littler can produce up to eight young. When young reach about four months of age they are completely weaned from their mother.

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A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, Menkhorst, P. and Knight, F. ©2001.

Mulgara (Dasycercus cristicauda), The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, 8/7/04, http://www.australian-aridlands-botanic-garden.org/general/mammals/m_spec/m_mulg.htm.

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