Amazing but overlooked bettongs: the case for Australia’s small hopper

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  • Australia’s tiny jumpers, known as bettongs, are in trouble; once exterminated as agricultural pests they are threatened by habitat loss and introduced predators such as foxes and cats.
  • Scientists recently learned that bettongs act as one of nature’s engineers, dramatically encouraging and enhancing Australia’s forest habitat in numerous ways.
  • Bettong restoration efforts are well supported by the national and state governments, with fenced-in populations thriving — though much remains to be done to encourage the return of the bettong to the broader Australian landscape.

This article has been reproduced from an article published by Mongabay. First published on by Jennifer Huizen. Click here to access the original article.

2017-06-05T05:08:51+00:00 October 6th, 2015|Rewilding Australia Blog|5 Comments

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  1. Maureen Schooling October 7, 2015 at 4:45 am - Reply

    We have lived in Cygnet over 7 years now, & we accidentally came across these little Bettongs in out back garden. We put food out every night & watch them feeding. And they bring their little ones also to see. Very fond of them.We also feed the Potoroos,Bandicoots,Quoll & possums.All eat around the food we put out.
    We also found out from speaking with locals, they have never seen or heard of them before,so we are very lucky to have them visit us.
    They are far my favorite.

    • Rewilding Australia October 7, 2015 at 5:01 am - Reply

      Brilliant story Maureen! You’re one lucky Australian to have so many of our beautiful species in your backyard. Keep protecting them and keep telling your neighbours about how important they are and how they can help protect them (by keeping cats and dogs in at night for example). Thanks again for your story.

  2. john jose October 7, 2015 at 11:20 am - Reply

    Very interesting but I did not understand “Nonnative foxes are eating their way through the holdout populations in Tasmania” are there native foxes? and I understood that it was established that there were no foxes in Tasmania.
    Do you have a comment on Maureen feeding bettongs and other wildlife or do you condone this practice.

    • Rewilding Australia October 17, 2015 at 1:25 am - Reply

      Hi John – Yes, the author has made an error regarding ‘foxes eating their way through Tasmania’. Current thought is that there are probably no foxes in Tasmania, and if there are present, they are at very low density.

      Regarding feeding wildlife – it is certainly better than a person who let’s their cat or dog out to prey on wildlife! I wouldn’t regard domestic feeding of wildlife a key threatening process for our natives, thus can let it slide! Thanks for your comments. Rob.

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