True Wild Life | Kowari | also known as the Brush-tailed Marsupial Rat, Kayer Rat, Byrne's Crest-tailed Marsupial Rat, Bushy-tailed Marsupial Rat and Kawiri, is a small carnivorous marsupial native to the dry grasslands and deserts of central Australia. It is monotypical of its genus. The Kowari is a ground dwelling carnivorous marsupial, living either in its own dug burrow or in the hole of another mammal. The Kowari is a solitary animal and marks its territory with secreations from a scent gland and leaving scats and urine at certain places throught their home teritory When approached, Kowari are very aggressive with much hisssing and chattering and thrashing of its tail.
Sexual maturity in a Kowari is reached in the first year of life but breeding seldom takes place until the second year between May and December. The female Kowari (who may produce 2 litters per season) carries up to six young on her teats for about eight weeks and suckles them in a nest (of soft materials) for a further eight weeks. Young Kowaris may ride on their mothers side or back (2-3 months old). The young become independant 100 days after birth.
The Kowari is well adapted to life in the central desert and does not need to drink, as it derieves needed moisture from its food. When cold and food supply is scarce, the Kowari may become torpid (a form of hibernation). By day, it sleeps in a burrow (sometimes can be seen "Sunbaking"), and at night it is a fierce predator on insects, the larger arthropods, and small vertebrates (eg birds, rodents, lizards) The Kowari can stalk like a cat and uses a direct neck bite when killing large prey.
Its range seems to have contracted considerably in recent decades but it is not clear whether this is an indication of its impending endangerment or of cyclical changes in the density of an opportunistic species, self regulating its numbers to survive in a harsh enviroment. So at this stage its Status is listed as Vulnerable Distribution: 100,000-300,000 square kilometres