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EASTERN Bettongs have been listed on the ACT’s Threatened Native Species List in a bid to secure their future, says Minister for the Environment and Heritage Mick Gentleman.
Eastern Bettongs (Bettongia gaimardi) were once very common around Canberra but became extinct on mainland Australia almost 100 years ago following the introduction of foxes and increased land clearing and livestock grazing activities.
Mr Gentleman says the ACT government brought 60 Eastern Bettongs from Tasmania (the only place they are now found in the wild) to Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary in 2011 and 2012.
“[Since], the small kangaroo-like marsupials have thrived and become extraordinarily popular with residents and visitors alike,” he says.
But following this success the ACT Scientific Committee identified the need to give them future protection through listing in the ACT’s Threatened Native Species List under the category of Regionally Conservation Dependent.
“Listing an animal is formal recognition of the need for ongoing management to conserve the species in the ACT,” Mr Gentleman says.
“Bettongs play an important role in restoring the ACT’s grassy box-gum woodland, which is a threatened ecological community.”
Conservation advice for the Eastern Bettong is available at environment.act.gov.au