In Australia, we grow up knowing that most of our mammals are found nowhere else on earth. We almost take that for granted, but it really is an incredible legacy!
But which mammal families are endemic to Australia? Which are endemic to Australia+New Guinea and their islands? Which are endemic to the region east of the Wallace Line (incl Sulawesi, New Guinea, Australia)?
How does our level of endemism compare to other great continents? Please forgive the upside down map – this is the way I see the natural world!
In researching for some cruise ship presentations I found this information hard to come by. So here’s a few lists I’ve put together from my own research. There may be some gaps or errors – if you know of any, please let me know!
Australasian Endemic Mammal Families:
Tachyglossidae – Echidnas (endemic to Australia+New Guinea)
Ornithorhynchidae – platypus (Australia only)
Dasyuridae – Antechinuses, Quolls, Tasmanian Devil (Australia+New Guinea)
Myrmecobiidae – Numbat (Australia only)
Thylacomyidae – Bilbies (Australia only)
Peramelidae – Bandicoots (Australia+New Guinea)
Notoryctidae – Marsupial mole (Australia only)
Phascolarctidae – koala (Australia only)
Vombatidae – wombats (Australia only)
Burramyidae – pygmy possums (Australia+New Guinea & one species in indonesia close to West Papua)
Tasipedidae – honey possum (Australia only)
Petauridae – sugar glider, leadbeaters possum (Australia+New Guinea)
Pseudocheiridae -ringtails (Australia+New Guinea and several species in Indonesia close to West Papua)
Potoridae – potoroos (Australia only)
Hypsiprymnodontidae – Musky rat kangaroo (Australia+New Guinea)
Macropodidae – kangaroos (Australia+New Guinea)
Acrobatidae – feather-tailed glider & the feather-tailed possum (Australia+New Guinea)
Phalangeridae – brushtails & cuscus (Australia+New Guinea, and Sulawesi, Indonesia)
More to come: Endemic Mammal Families of Africa (African / Afrotropic Ecozone)!
References: Wikipedia species accounts
Burgman & Lindenmayer “Conservation Biology for the Australian Environment”