Eastern Bettong

(Bettongia gaimardi)

These small macropods are a brown-grey colour, with cream feet and a white belly. They are nocturnal, coming out at night-time to feed on fungi, seeds, roots and insects.

  • Photo credit: Mark Sanders i
  • Photo credit: Dave Watts i

DESCRIPTION

They build nests at the bases of tussocks out of grass and bark, which they carry back to the nest with their prehensile tails. 

If you disturb one in the dark is most likely to zig-zag away from you at speed in big hops, with its head down and tail extended. 

Weighing up to 2kg, Eastern Bettongs are twice the size of the Long-nosed Potoroo and are also both taller and lighter in colour. 

Eastern Bettongs prefer to live in native grasslands or open forest, most of which has been cleared in Australia to make way for farms, sheep & cattle grazing and timber harvesting. All five species of bettong have been in decline since European settlement.

Introduced feral species are also a big factor in the decline of this species, which now only occur in Tasmania, which is notably free of foxes which would eat bettongs.

They used to be found all along the coast from Queensland, into NSW, Victoria and South Australia, but are now only found in the eastern parts of Tasmania. 

SHARE THIS PAGE

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon Linkedin Icon Print Icon Share Icon