Zyzomys pedunculatus (Waite, 1896)

Central rock rat, MacDonnell Range rock-rat, Central thick-tailed rock-rat, Central thick-tailed rat, Waite's rock-rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Conilurus pedunculatus Waite, 1896; Laomys pedunculatus (Waite, 1896)


Conservation Status

Rediscovered twice: the first time (1966-1996) and second time (2002?-2010).

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered



Northern Territory, Australia


Biology & Ecology




MV Z34923 (Roycroft et al., 2021, 2022)

MV Z34925 (Roycroft et al., 2021, 2022)






Anonymous. (1977). MacDonnell Range Rock-Rat, Central Thick-tailed Rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus. Mammals No. 6. In: Australian Endangered Species. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Baynes, Alexander and Jones, Barbara. (1993). The mammals of Cape Range peninsula, Western Australia, pp. 207-226. In: Humphreys, W. F. (ed.). The Biogeography of Cape Range, Western Australia. Perth: Western Australian Museum.

Baynes, Alexander and McDowell, Matthew C. (2010). The original mammal fauna of the Pilbara biogeographic region of north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 78: 285-298.

Baynes, Alexander, Piper, Cassia J. and Thorn, Kailah M. (2019). An experimental investigation of differential recovery of native rodent remains from Australian palaeontological and archaeological deposits. Records of the Western Australian Museum 34(1): 1-30.

Burbidge, A. A and Fuller, P. J. (1979). Mammals of the Warburton region, Western Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 8(1): 57-73.

Cole, J. (2000). Recovery Plan for the Central Rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Project Number 583. The Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, Canberra, Australia.

Crowley, G. M. (ed.). (2008). Management Guidelines for the Threatened Species of the Northern Territory. Version 1. Tropical Savannas CRC, Darwin.Generated from on 9th September, 2008.

Edwards, G. P. (2012a). Temporal analysis of the diet of the central rock-rat. Australian Mammalogy 35(1): 43-48. [Abstract]

Edwards, G. P. (2012b). Relative abundance of the central rock-rat, the desert mouse and the fat-tailed Pseudantechinus at Ormiston Gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park, Northern Territory. Aust Mammal 35: 144-148.

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1941). On central Australian mammals. Part II: The Muridae. Trans. R. Soc. S. Aust. 65: 215-232.

Finlayson, Hedley Herbert. (1961). On central Australian mammals. Part IV. The distribution and status of central Australian species. Records of the South Australian Museum 14: 141-192.

Fisher, Diana O. (2011). Trajectories from extinction: where are missing mammals rediscovered? Global Ecology & Biogeography 20: 415-425. [Appendix S1]

Flannery, Timothy F. (2009a). The Third Wave. The Monthy, April. [pagination?]

Flannery, Timothy F. (2009b). The Third Wave, pp. 45-50. In: Davidson, Robyn (ed.). The Best Australian Essays, 2009. Melbourne: Black Inc. xii + 384. [Flannery (2009a) included in a collection of essays]

Gaikhorst, G. and Lambert, C. (2009). Breeding and maintenance of the Central rock-rat [i]Zyzomys pedunculatus[/i] at Perth Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 43(1): 212-221. [Abstract]

Garnett, Stephen T., Hayward-Brown, Brittany K. et al. (2022). Australia's most imperilled vertebrates. Biological Conservation 270: 109561.

Geyle, Hayley M. et al. (2018). Quantifying extinction risk and forecasting the number of impending Australian bird and mammal extinctions. Pacific Conservation Biology 24(2): 157-167.

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Kitchener, D. J. (1989). Taxonomic appraisal of Zyzomys (Rodentia, Muridae) with descriptions of two new species from the Northern Territory, Australia. Rec. West. Aust. Mus. 14: 331-373.

McDonald, Peter J. et al. (2013). Extant population of the Critically Endangered central rock-rat Zyzomys pedunculatus located in the Northern Territory, Australia. Oryx 47(2): 303-306. [Abstract]

McDonald, Peter, Brittingham, Richie, Nano, Catherine and Paltridge, Rachel. (2014). A new population of the critically endangered central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus) discovered in the Northern Territory. Australian Mammalogy 37(1): 97-100. [Abstract]

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Nano, T. (2008). Central Rock-rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 658-660. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Nano, T. J., Smith, C. M., and Jefferys, E. (2003). Investigation into the diet of the central rock-rat (Zyzomys pedunculatus). Wildlife Research 30: 513-518.

Parker, Shane A. (1973). An annotated checklist of the native land mammals of the Northern Territory. Records of the South Australian Museum 16(11): 1-57.

Pavey, C. (2002). Central Rock-Rat: Zyzomys pedunculatus. Threatened Species of the Northern Territory.

Piper, Cassia J. and Veth, Peter M. (2021). Palaeoecology and sea level changes: Decline of mammal species richness during late Quaternary island formation in the Montebello Islands, north-western Australia.  Palaeontologia Electronica 24(2): a20.

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Roycroft, Emily et al. (2021). Museum genomics reveals the rapid decline and extinction of Australian rodents since European settlement. PNAS 118(27): e2021390118.

Roycroft, Emily et al. (2022). New Guinea uplift opens ecological opportunity across a continent. Current Biology.

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Wurst, D. 1990. Report on the survey for the Central Rock-rat Zyzomys pedunculatus in the Alice Springs Region. Endangered Species Program Project Number 6. Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service, Canberra (unpublished).

Wurst, D. (1995a). Search for the central rock-rat. Australian Natural History 24(12): 38-45.

Wurst, D. 1995b. Central Rock-rat, Zyzomys pedunculatus, pp. 624-625. In: Strahan, Ronald (ed.). The Mammals of Australia. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed Books. 756 pp.

Wurst, D. 1997. Rock-rats alive! Nature Australia, Spring, 1997:12-14. [includes a photograph of the species]


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