Potoroos, rock rats and quolls have earned a dubious honor at the top of the list of Aussie mammals most at risk of being wiped out by wild cats and foxes.
A team of more than 20 scientists prepared a list of non-flying mammals most vulnerable to introduced predators, so that conservationists can better direct their efforts to save them from extinction.
"We found that 63 or about one of the three surviving mammal species are very susceptible to handing cats and foxes," said Dr. Jim Radford of the University of Latrobe.
"Our study shows that the introduced predators remain a significant threat to numerous mammals, many of which attach to survival with a thread."
Critically endangered Potoroo of Gilbert and the central rock-rat at the top of the list of mammals most susceptible to foxes and wild cats.
The endangered Eastern Quoll and the Western Escape were too high on the list.
The team of scientists behind the study said that the likelihood of many of the risky mammals recovering in relation to their population are dependent on the effective control of their major threats.
They said that while 10 species of mammals are being helped by measures, including closed spaces without predators or resettled in non-predatory areas, another 51 species considered to be at high risk also need help from the conservators.
Dr Radford said cats and foxes already have a leading role in at least 25 disappearances of mammals.
"Knowing which species are most at risk, will help us to prioritize where the control of a cat and a fox is most needed," he said.
The findings were published in the Wildlife Research magazine on Wednesday.
TOP 12 AUSSIE MAMMALS that are most present for artificial cats and foxes
* Gilbert Potoo Thinning Hilbert (critically endangered)
* Central Rock Rat Zyzomys pedunculatus (critically endangered)
* East Quoll Dasyurus viverrinus (endangered)
* Western banned rock Perameles bougainville (threatened)
* Eastern banned Perimelese Purée (threatened in continental Australia)
* Rufous Hare-wallaby or Mala Lagorchestes hirsutus (endangered in continental Australia)
* Attached Hare-Wallaby Lagostrophus fasciatus (vulnerable)
* Gjonggari or Shark Bay Mouse Pseudomys fieldi (vulnerable)
* Boodie or Burrowing Bettong Bettongia lesueur (vulnerable)
* Big Stick Nest Rat Leporilus Confectioner (Vulnerable)
* Tasmania Peladelon Togalogale billardierii (disappearing on the mainland, surviving in Tasmania)
* Eastern Bettong Bettongia gaimardi (extinct on the mainland, surviving in Tasmania)
Source: Center for healing of endangered species