Bettongia gaimardi


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Bettongia gaimardi
Species Authority: (Desmarest, 1822)
Common Name(s):
English Tasmanian Bettong, Tasmanian Rat Kangaroo, Eastern 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.

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).
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).
Population Trend: Stable

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.

Citation: Menkhorst, P. 2008. Bettongia gaimardi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. <>. Downloaded on 28 August 2015.
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