DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionThis species is found mainly in Australia, where it is occurs as two distinct subspecies: Lagorchestes conspicillatus conspicillatus and L. c. leichardti. The species has been recorded on New Guinea (Papua New Guinea only) (Hitchcock 1997), but little is known about its presence there.
L. c. conspicillatus is restricted to Barrow Island, Western Australia. It is extinct from Hermite and Trimouille Islands, of the Montebello Islands (A. Burbidge pers. comm.).
L. c. leichardti formerly occupied almost half of the Australian continent, and was found as far south as the MacDonnell Ranges (Northern Territory, 24°S) and Rockhampton (Queensland) (Maxwell et al. 1996). Its distribution is now extremely patchy. In Western Australia it is now rare and reduced to a few isolated populations in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions (very rare in the latter) (Maxwell et al. 1996). In Northern Territory it still occurs sparsely in the Tanami bioregion; near Newcastle Waters it is found in Acacia woodland, whereas near Borroloola in the Gulf Coastal bioregion it occurs in savanna woodland (Langford and Pavey 2002). It has disappeared from the southern-most parts of its range, now rarely occurring south of 21°S – a range contraction of more than 200 km. L. c. leichardti is common in suitable habitat between 16o-18o S (Maxwell et al. 1996). In Queensland it is widespread, recorded from Weipa on Cape York west to Dajarra and south to Rolleston near Rockhampton. Its extent of occurrence has not altered markedly in Queensland, although there is strong evidence of a marked decline in abundance in the south-eastern parts of its range (i.e, the central highlands area), and area of occupancy may have declined 20-30% due to broadscale clearing and development (Maxwell et al. 1996).