Mulligan Flat - Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment Logo




Eastern Bettong
Bettongia gaimardi
Photo: Dave Watts



Claire, Adrian and Matt looking at areas bettongs can be released

Claire Wimpenny (ACT Govt),
Adrian Manning (ANU) and
Matt Pauza (DPIWE, Tas)
discussing area where
Eastern Bettongs can be released
Photo: Don Fletcher





Bettong and Joey

Eastern Bettong and her Joey
Photo: Dave Watts




Bettong Habitat

Woodland habitat where
bettongs may occur
Photo: Nicki Munro





Tasmanian Bettong and Joey

Eastern Bettong and her joey
Photo: Dave Watts






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Eastern Bettong Reintroduction


Returning Ecosystem Engineers

The reintroduction of the Eastern Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) to the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is the subject of a major research grant led by the ANU, the ACT Government and CSIRO.This study will examine if the reintroduction of Eastern Bettongs to box-gum grassy woodlands will have cascading effects on the ecosystem. Eastern Bettongs are known to create up to 3000 diggings per ha, this is expected to have profound effects on the soil, water infiltration, seed germination and litter accumulation in the reserve.

The question we hope to answer through the reintroduction is

'how does the reintroduction of an ecosystem engineer affect the woodland ecosystem and the restoration process?'.

Eastern Bettong

The Tasmanian or Eastern Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi), is a member of the Potoroidae family, which includes four other species of bettongs, four species of potoroos, and the Desert Rat-kangaroo (Caloprymnus campestris).

The Eastern bettong is found in a wide range of dry sclerophyll vegetation, that is usually open and on poor soils. It eats seeds, roots, bulbs and fruiting-bodies of hypogeous ectomycorrhizal or truffles in dry sclerophyll forests. It builds a densly woven nest of dry grasses and bark under fallen timber or among small bushes and tussocks.

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Status:
Near ThreatenedBettong Former and Current Distribution

The Eastern Bettong was once widespread in the southeast of mainland Australia, but is thought to have become extinct on the mainland in the 1920s. Although common in Tasmania, the recent introduction of foxes (Vulpes vulpes) to Tasmania is thought to pose a significant risk to the species, to the extent that it may qualify for Vulnerable status within 10 years.

Known Threats

Threats include:

Progress to Date

We have successfully translocate a number of Eastern Bettongs to MFWS and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. The bettongs at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve will be part of a breeding program, increasing the numbers of animals in the ACT, can be transferred to Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. The bettongs at the sanctuary will be monitored and the effects on the soils, plants, fungi, invertebrates, birds and small mammals will be studied.

More information contact Adrian Manning.

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