Saturday, June 2, 2012

EXTINCT BETTONG RETURNED TO THE CANBERRA BUSH

Update 4/6/12

From the ACT Government:

The ACT Government has today called for information from the public after at least 30 sections of the predator-proof fence at Mulligans Flat Sanctuary were cut open last night. An inspection is currently taking place to determine the full extent of damage and repair works are under way...



Really exciting environmental work is happening at Mulligan's Flat enclosed nature reserve in Canberra's north. The ACT Government is reintroducing the Eastern bettong to the territory where it has been locally extinct for over a century.

Last year a number of bettongs were re-introduced into an enclosure in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve to form a breeding colony and etablish a backup colony for the next stage of the project. In recent days 24 more bettongs were brought from Tasmania (The animals last wild refuge) with some going to Tidbinbilla and the rest taken to the Mulligan's Flat box-gum woodlands sanctuary in what is described as the first wild-to-wild trans-location of bettongs.

Mulligans Flat reserve is a reserve of over 400 hectares secure from feral animals. The reason Bettongs became locally extinct was because of predation by the European fox, cat and wild dog. This predation would continue in our current circumstance if not for a fox, dog, cat proof enclosure...

From tamsactgov You Tube channel...

"Eastern bettongs from Tasmania are being introduced to the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in the ACT, as part of a joint project involving local, interstate and international partners. The translocation of bettongs is part of a woodlands restoration project at Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo nature reserves involving a partnership between the ACT Government, Australian National University's Fenner School of Environment and Society, CSIRO and James Hutton Institute in Scotland and is supported by the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary Board of Management."


More information :

mulligansflat.org.au

Bettongs 'what's happening

The Eastern Bettong Project

Mulligan's Flat woodland reserve

The Woodland Experiment 

An article from Queensland when Bettongs were apparently numerous...

The Brisbane Courier - Saturday 4 August 1928




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4 comments:

  1. VERY interesting Dave. Over the past month here in my forest I have seen an increase in small diggings along a grassy track on the edge of woodland. Also something scrating at the screen dor on the house. I opened the door quickly one night turning on the outside light t the same time, & caught a glimps of what looked like a brown tail disapearing off the porch.
    We are wondering if it could have been a Bandicoot, though we have not seen any here before.
    Keith.
    http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com.au/

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    1. You never know Keith. Their habitat follows (the other side) of the east ACT border. I'm still guessing at a picture I captured of what was a small small eared hare or a huge small eared rabbit... could it be bandicoot? They are not supposed to be here either.

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  2. Dave, being as unfamiliar with Australian wildlife and terms as I am, could you clarify the difference between kangaroos, wallabies, etc? Are all marsupials that hop around on their hind legs classified as kangaroos? I noticed that in the video the Bettong was called a kangaroo. I have been under the impression that a kangaroo stands about 6 feet tall.

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    1. They are all marsupials Bob. the females carry young in a pouch. They are even grouped together into the same order, family and sub family.
      The main differences between a wallaby and a kangaroo are the size, with the wallaby smaller, and colouration. Roos are Grey or Red with wallabies
      having variations eg Red necked wallaby has red coloured shoulder, swamp wallabies are black etc. The other way to tell is apparently with the teeth. The wallabies are flatter for grinding grass and the Kangaroos are pointier for pulling out grass and stalks. Then you have Pademelons and species like the Bettong, rat-kangaroo, etc which are smaller again.

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