Perhaps the least well-known of the Tasmanian marsupials is the tiny white-footed dunnart (Sminthopsis leucopus
). This small (20-30 grams) carnivorous marsupial is one of a dozen or so described species of dunnart occuring in Australia.
Confined to Tasmania and the extreme south east coast of mainland Australia, the white-footed dunnart is found in a variety of habitats, ranging from rainforest, open forest and dry coastal heath. It also occurs on Flinders Island.
It is nocturnal and feeds on invertebrates, lizards. During daylight hours, the animal rests in tree hollows, rotting logs, wood piles and other such sites. Individuals are often only noticed after hollowed trees have been cut down - revealing the importance of hollow trees for this and numerous other species.
Birth occurs in spring. Up to eight young are born (there are eight teats).
The white-footed dunnart is presumed to be secure, largely on the basis of the wide variety of habitats in which it is able to occur. However, insufficient information is available to form an accurate assessment of its conservation status.