Late Quaternary small mammal faunas of the Naracoorte Caves World Heritage Area
Macken, Amy Claire
Reed, Elizabeth Helen
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The vertebrate fossil deposits of the Naracoorte Caves in south eastern South Australia preserve a long-term record of local faunas. We provide here an updated list of small mammal faunas of late Quaternary (c. <50 ka) aged fossil assemblages from Wet, Robertson and Blanche Caves as a basis for understanding past and future patterns in species occurrence. The updated list includes seven species previously unrecorded from the <50 ka period from this region. Of these, two species (Dasycercus sp. indet. and Pseudomys novaehollandiae) are new to the Naracoorte fossil record and have no known regional historical (European colonisation to 1950) or contemporary (post 1950) distribution. Review of fossil collections such as these is crucial for providing up-to-date species occurrence data which can be used to establish baselines of past species diversity and information about the past geographic ranges of individual taxa through time.