Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Diprotodontia Potoroidae

Scientific Name: Bettongia gaimardi
Species Authority: (Desmarest, 1822)
Common Name(s):
English Tasmanian Bettong, Tasmanian Rat Kangaroo, Southern Bettong, Eastern Bettong, Gaimard’s Bettong
French Kangourou-rat de Gaimard, Kangourou-rat de Tasmanie
Spanish Canguro-rata de Tasmania

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Near Threatened ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Menkhorst, P.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Near Threatened because, although it is considered to be common on Tasmania, the recent introduction of the Red Fox has the potential to be a major threat to this species in the future. The Tasmanian Bettong is thought to have been eliminated from mainland Australia by introduced foxes, and if fox control measures are not successful on Tasmania, this species could face a significant decline in the next ten years (but unlikely to be as great as 30%), thus making the species close to qualifying for Vulnerable under criterion A.
Previously published Red List assessments:
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)
1965 Status inadequately known-survey required or data sought

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Australia. There are two subspecies recognised:

Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi is presumed to be extinct. It was formerly distributed throughout much of the south-eastern Australian mainland, as far north as south-eastern Queensland, but disappeared around the 1920s.

B. g. cuniculus is widespread in eastern Tasmania from sea level up to 1,000 m (Maxwell et al. 1996).
Countries occurrence:
Upper elevation limit (metres): 1000
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is presumed to be extinct on the Australian mainland, but it is common on Tasmania (Rose and Johnson 2008).
Current Population Trend: Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: It is found in well drained, open eucalypt or Casuarina forests and woodlands with grassy or heathy ground cover. Breeding is continuous and the females may produce two or three young per year (Rose and Johnson 2008).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by land clearing (through timber harvesting) and excessive grazing of stock. Repeated use of 1080 poison for wallaby control on private land and the recent introduction of foxes both adversely affect the species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on Appendix I of CITES. It is present in some protected areas. Recommended conservation actions (Maxwell et al. 1996) include: reserve suitable dry sclerophyll habitats; maintain open habitat through appropriate fire management; continue monitoring abundance at selected sites throughout range; identify populations vulnerable to 1080 and implement measures to reduce its use in those districts; educate landowners on minimal use of 1080 and land clearing.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.4. Forest - Temperate
suitability: Suitable  
1. Land/water protection -> 1.1. Site/area protection
2. Land/water management -> 2.1. Site/area management
4. Education & awareness -> 4.3. Awareness & communications

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
  Included in international legislation:Yes
  Subject to any international management/trade controls:Yes
2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.1. Annual & perennial non-timber crops -> 2.1.3. Agro-industry farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

2. Agriculture & aquaculture -> 2.3. Livestock farming & ranching -> 2.3.3. Agro-industry grazing, ranching or farming
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

5. Biological resource use -> 5.1. Hunting & trapping terrestrial animals -> 5.1.2. Unintentional effects (species is not the target)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Vulpes vulpes)
♦ timing: Ongoing ♦ scope: Unknown ♦ severity: Unknown ⇒ Impact score: Unknown 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.2. Species disturbance

3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Driessen, M. M., Hocking, G. J. and Beukers, P. 1990. Habitat, conservation status and management of the Tasmanian Bettong, Bettongia gaimardi. Department of Parks, Wildlife and Heritage, Hobart, Australia.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A. A. and Morris, K. 1996. The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Australasian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group, IUCN Species Survival Commission, Gland, Switzerland.

Rose, R. W. and Johnson, K. A. 2008. Tasmanian Bettong, Bettongia gaimardi. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 287-288. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Rounsevell, D. E., Taylor, R. J. and Hocking, G. J. 1991. Distribution records of native terrestrial mammals in Tasmania. Wildlife Research 18: 699-717.

Citation: Menkhorst, P. 2008. Bettongia gaimardi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T2783A9480319. . Downloaded on 09 October 2015.
Disclaimer: To make use of this information, please check the <Terms of Use>.
Feedback: If you see any errors or have any questions or suggestions on what is shown on this page, please provide us with feedback so that we can correct or extend the information provided