FOCUS SPECIES

Eastern Bettong

Conservation status: Threatened

Banner image, Eastern Bettong being released at Mulligans Flat. Photo by Mulligans Flat

Prior to the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires, the only two remaining populations of Eastern Bettong on the Australian mainland were in Canberra at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve and Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary. However, during these bushfires Tidbinbilla’s population of Eastern Bettongs were urgently evacuated by the Defence Force to Mt Rothwell along with a group of Southern Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies.

This evacuation, while successful, highlighted the serious need for populations of Eastern Bettongs outside of the ACT. Now, Mt Rothwell holds 26 individual bettongs, originally from Tidbinbilla, which live in a secure free-range enclosure. While Mt Rothwell’s population of Eastern Bettongs offers the ACT animals a small insurance policy, there is still a need for further populations to be established as a way to future-proof the species.