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The red-tailed phascogale (Phascogale calura) was first described in 1844 by John Gould. It had a wide but patchy distribution across Australia prior to settlement and specimens have been collected from locations such as Canning Stock Route, Western Australia; 16 km from Darling Junction in Victoria; Alice Springs and Barrow Creek, Northern Territory and Adelaide, South Australia (Kitchener, 1981). Recent fossil records and records of distribution at settlement suggest that the species occurred widely through arid and semi-arid Australia and that the contraction of its range was concurrent with the introduction of exotic predatory species, such as the feral cat and red fox (Finlayson 1961). Currently P. calura is found at a limited number of locations in the southern Wheatbelt in Western Australia (Kitchener, 1981; Friend and Friend 1992).

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