Nature conservation

Threatened species

Southern Ningaui - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Ningaui yvonneae
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 07 Sep 2017


The Southern (or Mallee) Ningaui is a tiny (weighing 5 to 14 grams) carnivorous dasyurid (‘marsupial mouse’) with a narrow muzzle and small close-set eyes. The tail (53 to 71 millimetres) is similar in length to the head and body (48-81 mm). It is tawny-olive to greyish-olive fur above which grades to underparts that are pale grey. The chin is whitish and the heads may have cinnamon tones, particularly behind the eye. The fur is described as ‘bristly’ which is one of the distinguishing features from other dasyurids that occur in NSW. Dunnarts have sleeker fur, larger eyes and ears and pale feet while Planigales are most readily distinguished by the narrow, triangular head (and in NSW they occur in different habitats).


Recorded from scattered locations across southern Western Australia, South Australia, north western Victoria and south western New South Wales. Within this area it appears to be patchily distributed, but can be locally common (as is the case in some locations in NSW). In NSW most records are from the far south west, including the Scotia mallee (Tarawi Nature Reserve, Scotia Sanctuary and surrounding properties) and east of the Darling River (Mungo and Mallee Cliffs National Parks and many surrounding properties). An apparently isolated population occurs in central NSW mallee with most records from Nombinnie, Round Hill and western Yathong Nature Reserves and one single record from remnant mallee near Taleeban (south west of West Wyalong).

Habitat and ecology

  • Shelters in spinifex clumps, beneath logs, and in dense vegetation, but may also dig its own burrows.
  • Nocturnal and preys on a wide range of arthropods and small lizards, which it captures amongst leaf litter. Can consume almost its own body weight in food in a single night.
  • A litter of 5 to 7 juveniles are weaned in late summer (February), though females appear to have the ability to have 2 litters a year. Most adults only live for approximately 14 months, and most disappear from the population in December.
  • Closely tied to vegetation with spinifex clumps (in NSW mainly associated with mallee woodlands), though occasionally recorded in other habitats.
  • Most movements are relatively localised, but males will regularly move more than 200 metres, particularly during the breeding season, and movements of up to 2 kilometres have been recorded.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Cobar PeneplainLachlan Plains Known None
Cobar PeneplainNymagee Known None
Murray Darling DepressionDarling Depression Known None
Murray Darling DepressionSouth Olary Plain Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None