At least 25 species of small to medium terrestrial mammals are known or likely to have occurred in north-west Victoria in the 19th century. Of these, five species are globally extinct; 15 are regionally or locally extinct; and five are extinct. Our vision for Neds is to reintroduce regionally or locally extinct species so that we restore a more complex and resilient ecosystem.
The two small terrestrial marsupials that survive — the Fat-tailed Dunnart and Gile’s Planigale — are listed as threatened. They are on the saltbush plains where they can take refuge in the deep cracking soils. The other non-flying native mammals living at Neds are Western Grey, Eastern Grey and Red Kangaroos, Short-beaked Echidna, Common Brushtail Possum, Broad-toed Feathertail Glider and the Water Rat. Fifteen species of bat have also been recorded.
Reptiles and frogs are a major component of fauna diversity at Neds. The property has more than 30 species, including the threatened De Vis’ Banded Snake, Bandy-bandy, Carpet Python, Hooded Scaly-foot and Growling Grass Frog, with new species being regularly found.
More than 120 bird species have been recorded, including inland species such as the Crimson Chat, Orange Chat, Inland Dotterel and Pied Honeyeater. Bird surveys show increases in the frequency of some indicator species of woodland birds such as the Chestnut-crowned Babbler and Red-capped Robin as habitat extent and quality has improved. It is hoped that large-scale restoration of another 10,000 hectares of woodland habitat will lead to even more striking improvements in bird diversity.
Invertebrates represent most of the fauna diversity at Neds, with approximately 400 species recorded — 20 were new to science, including 13 new spiders.