Bettong

Bettongia

Bettongia

The Tasmanian bettong is a small marsupial up to 2kg in weight which moves on its hind legs, similar to wallabies and kangaroos.  Their fur coat is brown to grey in colour with a white or grey fur chest.  They have a reasonably long tail, darker in colour with a distinctive white tip.

Breeding

Females will remain close to the grass nests they have built and the young will be carried in the pouch for the first 2-3 months.  The young will share the nest with the mother and are weaned at 6 months.  Bettongs have 1 young at a time, will breed all year round and may produce up to 3 young per year.

Behaviour

The Tasmanian bettong is a nocturnal animal.  During the day it sleeps in a nest it constructs out of grasses and leaves.  These bettongs have been seen carrying grass with their tail to make a nest.  They inhabit the eastern half of Tasmania in dry sclerophyll forest and open woodland. 

Diet

A major component of its diet is underground fungi related to truffles, but it is also happy to dig up roots and tubers as well. Insects and grubs are also eaten when encountered.  The bettong will also feed on berries or seeds.  Grass does not make up a major part of their diet.

Status

Due to forestry and agricultural activities their status has been listed as vulnerable.