What do Leucopogon look like?

Leucopogon is a genus of about 150-160 species of shrubby flowering plants. Leucopogons are erect densely branched shrub, seldom more that 1m high, with narrow pungent-pointed leaves 3.7–8mm long. The white flowers are pendent-like, tubular, 4–5mm long, hairy inside tube and are borne singly but abundantly along ends of branches. The fruit is a ridged and hairless rounded drupe.

Where are Leucopogon found?

They are native to Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the western Pacific Islands and Malaysia, with the greatest species diversity in south-eastern Australia.

Fast facts:

  1. The common name for Leucopogon is beard-heath or beard heath.
  2.  Leucopogon is derived from ancient Greek. Translated as White Beard.

Leucopogon – the full story

Leucopogon is a genus of about 150-160 species of shrubby flowering plants. Leucopogons are erect densely branched shrub, seldom more that 1m high, with narrow pungent-pointed leaves 3.7–8mm long. The white flowers are pendent-like, tubular, 4–5mm long, hairy inside tube and are borne singly but abundantly along ends of branches. The fruit is a ridged and hairless rounded drupe. 

They are native to Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, the western Pacific Islands and Malaysia, with the greatest species diversity in south-eastern Australia. The common name is beard-heath or beard heath. Leucopogon is derived from ancient Greek. Translated as White Beard.

What do Leptospermum look like?

Tea Trees are from a hardy and adaptable genus that grows in many sizes from shrubs to trees, reaching 1–8m tall, rarely up to 20m, with dense branching. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, sharp-tipped, and small, in most species not over 1cm long. The flowers are up to 3cm diameter. White is the predominant flower colour, but there are a few species which produce pink or red flowers

The characteristic five petalled flowers have a dainty appearance and are produced in profusion. They attract many bees and butterflies.

Where is Leptospermum found?

There are over 80 species, and most are endemic to Australia, with the greatest diversity in the south of the continent. 

Tea Trees range extends from sub-alpine areas to wet coastal forests, temperate woodlands and the arid inland. In fact, the only major environment where Tea Trees are absent is probably rainforest.

Fast facts:

  1. Leptospermum is also known as tea tree. 
  2. Leptospermum have characteristic five petalled flowers with a dainty appearance and are produced in profusion. They attract many bees and butterflies.

Leptospermum (Tea Tree) – the full story

Tea Trees range extends from sub-alpine areas to wet coastal forests, temperate woodlands and the arid inland. In fact, the only major environment where Tea Treesare absent is probably rainforest.

There are over 80 species, and most are endemic to Australia, with the greatest diversity in the south of the continent.

Tea Trees are from a hardy and adaptable genus that grows in many sizes from shrubs to trees, reaching 1–8m tall, rarely up to 20m, with dense branching. The leaves are evergreen, alternate, simple, sharp-tipped, and small, in most species not over 1cm long. The flowers are up to 3cm diameter. White is the predominant flower colour, but there are a few species which produce pink or red flowers

The characteristic five petalled flowers have a dainty appearance and are produced in profusion. They attract many bees and butterflies. 

What do Ficus look like?

As a group, figs are relatively easy to recognise. Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants.  All figs possess a white to yellowish latex, some in copious quantities; the twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules have fallen off; and the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, forming a tighter angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as “tri-veined”.

Where are Ficus found?

Fig trees are native to in certain parts of Australia and Lord Howe Island. 

Fast facts:

  1. Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemi-epiphytes.
  2. Figs are keystone species in many rainforest ecosystems. Their fruit are a key resource for some frugivores including flying foxes. Ficus is one of the largest genera of flowering plants currently described.

Ficus (Fig) – the full story

Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes and hemi-epiphytes. The fruit of most species are edible though they are usually of only local economic importance or eaten as bushfood. They are extremely important food resources for wildlife and of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as objects of worship and for their many practical uses.

As a group figs are relatively easy to recognise. Many have aerial roots and a distinctive shape or habit, and their fruits distinguish them from other plants. The fig fruit is an enclosed inflorescence, sometimes referred to as asyconium, an urn-like structure lined on the inside with the fig’s tiny flowers. The unique fig pollination system, involving tiny, highly specific wasps which pollinate and lay their eggs, has been a constant source of inspiration and wonder to biologists. Finally, there are three vegetative traits that together are unique to figs. All figs possess a white to yellowish latex, some in copious quantities; the twig has paired stipules or a circular stipule scar if the stipules have fallen off; and the lateral veins at the base of the leaf are steep, forming a tighter angle with the midrib than the other lateral veins, a feature referred to as “tri-veined”.

Figs are keystone species in many rainforest ecosystems. Their fruit are a key resource for some frugivores including flying foxes. Ficus is by far the largest genus in the Moraceae (the fig family), and is one of the largest genera of flowering plants currently described.

What does Baeckea look like?

Baeckea are shrubs and trees with oppositely arranged leaves. The leaves are very small, glandular, and aromatic. Flowers are solitary or borne in simple or compound inflorescences in the leaf axils. The flower has five sepals and five white, pink, or purple petals.

Where is Baeckea found?

Baeckea is widespread along the coast and tablelands of south-eastern Australia. Two species occur in Western Australia, both in the cool, high-rainfall areas near Albany, in heathy swamps. Greatest species diversity is reached on the Central Coast and Central Tablelands of New South Wales. Two species (B. gunniana and B. utilis) extend to alpine communities, above 2000 metres altitude, near Mt Kosciusko.

Fast facts:

  1. Baeckea is a genus of flowering plants of about 75 species, of which 70 are endemic to Australia.
  2. Most species of Baeckea apparently require a high water table, and hence they are found in swamps and heathlands; however, two species (B. brevifolia and B. kandos) commonly grow on sandstone rocks. With the exception of B. frutescens, Baeckea species are of temperate climates.

Baeckea – the full story

Baeckea is a genus of flowering plants of about 75 species, of which 70 are endemic to Australia. Baeckea is widespread along the coast and tablelands of south-eastern Australia. Two species occur in Western Australia, both in the cool, high-rainfall areas near Albany, in heathy swamps. Greatest species diversity is reached on the Central Coast and Central Tablelands of New South Wales. Two species (B. gunniana and B. utilis) extend to alpine communities, above 2000 metres altitude, near Mt Kosciusko.

These plants are shrubs and trees with oppositely arranged leaves. The leaves are very small, glandular, and aromatic. Flowers are solitary or borne in simple or compound inflorescences in the leaf axils. The flower has five sepals and five white, pink, or purple petals.

Most species of Baeckea apparently require a high water table, and hence they are found in swamps and heathlands; however, two species (B. brevifolia and B. kandos) commonly grow on sandstone rocks. With the exception of B. frutescens, Baeckea species are of temperate climates.

What does Allocasurina look like?

Allocasuarina trees are notable for their long, segmented branchlets that function as leaves. Formally termed cladodes, these branchlets somewhat resemble pine needles, although sheoaks are actually flowering plants. The leaves are reduced to minute scales encircling each joint. Fallen cladodes form a dense, soft mat beneath sheoaks, preventing the development of undergrowth and making sheoak woods remarkably quiet.

Another characteristic feature are the spiny “cones”, about the size of an acorn but with a texture more resembling a conifer cone. However, sheoak “cones” are actually a woodyfruit. Male specimens bear no fruit and are sometimes colloquially referred to as a “heoak”.

Where are Allocasurina found?

Allocasuarina are trees endemic to Australia, occurring primarily in the south.

Fast facts:

  1. Allocasurinas are known as evergreens – they are green all year round. 
  2. Each plant can produce male and female flowers on the same or separate trees.

Allocasurina

Allocasuarina are trees endemic to Australia, occurring primarily in the south.

Allocasuarina trees are notable for their long, segmented branchlets that function as leaves. Formally termed cladodes, these branchlets somewhat resemble pine needles, although sheoaks are actually flowering plants. The leaves are reduced to minute scales encircling each joint. Fallen cladodes form a dense, soft mat beneath sheoaks, preventing the development of undergrowth and making sheoak woods remarkably quiet.

Another characteristic feature are the spiny “cones”, about the size of an acorn but with a texture more resembling a conifer cone. However, sheoak “cones” are actually a woodyfruit. Male specimens bear no fruit and are sometimes colloquially referred to as a “heoak”.

As with legumes, sheoak roots possess nodules containing symbiotic nitrogen fixing bacteria; together with their highly drought-adapted foliage, this enables sheoaks to thrive in very poor soil and semi-arid areas. However, sheoaks are much less bushfire-tolerant than eucalypts. 

What do they look like?

The Quokka is a small wallaby with thick, coarse, grey-brown fur with lighter underparts. Its snout is naked and its ears are short. Its short tail can reach 31cm long and tapers towards the end. Males grow to 54cm long and weigh up to 4.2kg, whereas females grow to 50cm and weigh up to 3.5kg. Although looking rather like a very small kangaroo, it can climb small trees and shrubs.

The Quokka is a type of small wallaby. It has thick greyish brown fur with lighter brown under surfaces. It has a brown face, short rounded ears, black eyes and a black nose. Its feet, paws and short tail are brown. The males are bigger than the females.

Where are they found? 

In the wild, the Quokka is restricted to a very small range in the South-West of Western Australia, with a number of small scattered populations. There is one large population on Rottnest Island and a smaller population on Bald Island near Albany, which are free of foxes and cats.

The Quokka is a habitat specialist, preferring young low vegetation stages that have been burned within the previous ten years. The Quokka has relatively high water requirements, hence, the species is often present in riparian and swamp habitat.

The main habitat for mainland populations of the Quokka is dense riparian vegetation that provides refuge from predation by owls, foxes and cats.

Fast facts:

  1. OUR CONSERVATION STATUS
    National: Vulnerable
    State: Vulnerable (WA)
  2. One day after the young is born, the female mates again and the embryo stays dormant in the female. If the young in the pouch dies within five months, the embryo resumes development and is born in 24—27 days. If the first young lives, the embryo degenerates. Under good conditions the second embryo can resume growth after the first young is successfully raised. The young leaves the pouch between 6—7 months, but will return if alarmed or cold.

Quokka

The Quokka is a type of small wallaby. It has thick greyish brown fur with lighter brown under surfaces. It has a brown face, short rounded ears, black eyes and a black nose. Its feet, paws and short tail are brown. The males are bigger than the females.

Quokkas sleep during the day in small groups amongst dense vegetation, becoming very active at night, when they gather around water holes with up to 150 other individuals.

Around 10,000 Quokkas live on Rottnest Island in Western Australia, but very small populations also survive on the mainland’s south-west forests. Overall, the species is listed as vulnerable due to predation by feral animals (cats and foxes), altered fire patterns and habitat loss.

Quokkas are herbivores, generally eating a variety of native grasses, leaves, seeds, roots and shrubs. However, they are able to rely on stored fats in their tails for energy during periods of time when food is scarce.

As anyone who has been to Rottnest would know, fresh water is in short supply, so it’s just as well that Quokkas can survive on very little of it – lasting up to a month without a drink. They also have a remarkable ability to regulate their body temperature, being able to cope with temperatures as high as 44°C.

Quokkas have a short breeding season which happens in late summer. Just 27 days after mating, a female can give birth to a single pink, hairless and blind joey, that stays in her pouch for up to 30 weeks.

Quokkas love:

  • swamps and scrublands – Quokkas sleep during the day amongst dense vegetation but become very active at night.
  • seeking shade – Quokkas look for the best shelter on hot summer days, allowing them to rest or sleep comfortably.

But they don’t like:

  • cats and foxes – Quokkas are at risk of predation from these feral animals.
  • land-clearing – which robs them of their preferred densely vegetated habitat and forces them into fragmented pockets.
  • dry habitats and warmer temperatures – although highly adaptable, it is unclear how Quokkas will cope with a changing climate.

Try to:

  • enjoy watching Quokkas on their own terms if visiting them at Rottnest Island or other places.
  • take care when driving or cycling near where they live.
  • keep your distance from Quokkas as they can catch diseases from humans.

Avoid:

  • feeding Quokkas human food as this could be detrimental to their health.
  • littering, especially near their habitats, as consumption of food high in salt leaves Quokkas dehydrated.
  • intervening in Quokkas’ interaction with their environment, as this could lead to stress and a disruption of their lives.

Although Quokkas don’t visit our backyards, they need our help to keep their habitat clean and healthy. Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife runs Backyard Buddies – to give you tips to help our wonderful wildlife.

What do they look like?

Possums are small marsupials that are found across Australia. They can range in size from the size of a mouse like the tiny Western Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus concinnus) at just 15 grams up to the size of a cat. The most often seen possums in backyards and urban areas are the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and the Common Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus).

Common Brushtail Possums get their name from their dark, thick, bushy tail. They are about the size of a cat with pointed ears. They can vary in colour from a copper colour in northern Queensland to a grey or even blackish in the southern states.

Common Ringtail Possums are smaller than the Common Brushtail Possum and get their name from their long, tapering tail. The last third of their tail is white. It is prehensile, meaning it can grip like another hand.

Where are they found?

Possums live in the trees and occasionally come down to the ground to look for food. 

Common Brushtail Possums are commonly seen in urban areas and heard scampering over the roof at night. They live along the east coast of Australia, in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Canberra, Tasmania, the south-east corner of South Australia, in central Australia including southern Northern Territory and along the south west coast of Western Australia.

Common Ringtail Possums are less common than Brushtails and a bit smaller in size. They live along the east coast of Australia in Queensland, New South Wales, Canberra, most of Victoria, Tasmania and the south-west of Western Australia.

Both kinds of possum may live in your roof if they can’t find suitable homes in trees.

Fast facts

  1. Possums are closely related to gliders. There are 27 species of possums and gliders in Australia, including 2 species of cuscus.
  2. The Mountain Pygmy Possum is found above 1400m in the alpine regions of Kosciuszko National Park. It can hibernate for up to seven months of the year under the snow.

Possums – the full story

Possums live in the trees and occasionally come down to the ground to look for food. Common Brushtail Possums live in tree hollows and Common Ringtail Possums in the south of Australia build a nest out of sticks. Both kinds of possum may live in our roof if they can’t find suitable homes in trees.

Possums live in territories and mark the boundaries with smells. They rub the scent from glands under their chin, chest and base of tail against trees so everybody knows who’s the boss in the area. Possums protect their territories by fighting off intruders.

The body of a possum is made for life in the trees. They have strong, sharp claws, and hand-like back feet. The Ringtail Possum has a prehensile tail which acts like another hand to help it grip tree branches with ease. They can also use it to carry nesting material.

Brushtails get their name from their dark, thick, bushy tail. They have pointed ears like a cat and are about the size of a big cat. Brushtails eat leaves, flowers, fruits and occasionally meat and small invertebrates. Brushtails vary in colour throughout their range, from a copper colour in northern Queensland to a grey or even blackish colouration in the southern states.

The Ringtail has smaller ears than the Brushtail. It is usually grey-brown in colour with red flanks, white underparts and white spots behind its ears.

Common Ringtail Possums get their name from their long, tapering tail. The last third of their tail is white. It is prehensile, meaning it can grip like another hand. This possum can grip branches with its tail and even carry nesting material with it.

Common Ringtail Possums live along the east coast of Australia and in the south-west corner of Western Australia. In southern Australia, Ringtails build nests called dreys out of sticks, bark and grass.

Common Brushtail Possums do not build dreys. They live in tree hollows, nest boxes or roofs. Brushtails get their name from their thick, bushy tail. As well as in the areas the Ringtail is found, the Brushtail also lives in the centre of Australia and a greater area of south-east South Australia.

You can look after possums in your own backyard

Many of our possums are dependent on tree hollows. They need them to sleep in during the daylight hours. Competition from other possums, birds, bats and gliders along with the clearing of many old trees has reduced suitable hollows and possums often move in to the roof or walls of your home. They are not quiet – if you have a possum in your roof, you will soon know about it!

By providing a nest box outside about 4m up in a tree, your backyard can become a better home for possums.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies— to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The possum is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like possums, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care… and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what possums do and do not like.

Possums love:

Eucalyptus leaves – they are the Ringtail Possums’ favourite food. They, and Brushtails, also eat flowers, fruits and veggies. In your garden they love to eat roses, gardenias, fuchsias and passionfruit.

Tree hollows – to nest and sleep in safely. Eucalypt hollows take over one hundred years to develop, and competition for them can be stiff.

Night time – especially the first half, when they are active and searching for food. Possums rest during the day.

Nest boxes – as tree hollows are in short supply. Nest boxes encourage possums to nest outside, instead of in your roof.

But they don’t like:

Trappers – who take them away from their territories. It is very stressful for a possum to be relocated and most don’t survive.

Stinky plants – like chrysanthemums, mint bushes, geraniums and daisies.

Spiky plants – possums don’t like spiny grevilleas and hakeas, or tough, woody banksias.

Bright lights – such as spotlights, porch lights or party lights.

Be a possum buddy

Try to:

  • build or buy a nest box that can offer your possum buddies a hangout for daytime naps or even a safe place to sleep through winter.
  • keep your cat or dog inside at night, as this is when possums come out to feed.
  • cover your compost bin securely so little possum paws don’t investigate it.

Avoid:

  • leaving pet food outside at night time.
  • cutting down trees with hollows in them. These are prime locations for native animals to sleep and have their young in. It takes up to one hundred years for tree hollows to form, so they will take a long time to replace if removed.
  • touching or handling possums. If you find a possum that you think may need assistance – call your local wildlife rescue service or Council for advice.

Don’t be surprised if:

  • you find a possum living in your walls or roof. If there is a possum in your roof, provide an alternative home for it outside by putting up a nest box. Encourage the possum to the nest box by placing some fruit near it. Block up the entry point to your roof at a time when you know the possum is not inside, such as night time.

Possums are highly territorial and relocating them outside your property is illegal.

What do they look like?

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) is an aquatic mammal. It is brown in colour and quite small. An adult Platypus can be from 45 cm up to 60 cm in length and can weigh up to 2.7 kg.

Platypus have dark backs and a light brown belly, long, coarse hair, a long duck-like bill, webbed feet and short legs. 

Where are they found?

Platypus are found on the eastcoast from Northern Queensland and as far south as Tasmania, as well as some areas of South Australia and Kangaroo island.  Platypuses are intriguing animals. They might live right under your nose in a creek or stream near you. If you sit quietly on a creek bank early in the morning or late afternoon you might just see one.

Fast facts: 

  1. Male Platypuses have a poisonous spur on the inside of their hind legs. The spur contains a poison that the Platypus uses to defend his territory from other males and enemies.
  2. Platypuses are one of two animals in the world that are known as monotremes. The other is the echidna. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs.

Platypus – the full story

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) also known as the duck billed Platypus is an aquatic mammal. This name comes from the Greek words platys meaning ‘broad and pous meaning ‘foot’.

Platypuses are one of two animals in the world that are known as monotremes. The other is the echidna. Monotremes are mammals that lay eggs.

The Platypus is brown in colour and quite small. An adult Platypus can be from 45 cm up to 60 cm in length and can weigh up to 2.7 kg.

Male Platypuses have a poisonous spur on the inside of their hind legs. The spur contains a poison that the Platypus uses to defend his territory from other males and enemies.

Platypuses dig two burrows; a nesting and a resting burrow. Burrows can be up to 20 m long. Burrows can be hard to find as the entrances are often underwater or covered by overhanging stream bank vegetation.

Platypuses eat yabbies, fish, worms, water bugs and sometimes small frogs that live in the creeks and streams. Occasionally Platypuses eat insects that fall into the water. They feed early in the morning or late in the afternoon, foraging in the creek-bed for their food.

Platypuses are intriguing animals. They might live right under your nose in a creek or stream near you. If you sit quietly on a creek bank early in the morning or late afternoon you might just see one.

You can help look after Platypuses

Platypuses are shy creatures and this is how you can protect them in your very own neighbourhood:

  • Don’t use yabby traps to catch yabbies in freshwater streams.
  • Don’t disturb Platypuses if you see them.
  • Plant native plants along the stream bank, it will protect the banks and provide areas to live.
  • Clean up streams by removing broken bottles and rubbish.
  • Keep your dogs on a leash if walking them near Platypus habitat.

Platypus love:

Slow flowing water – such as in a series of pools and riffles.

A bit of depth – including pools up to 1 to 2m deep, but no deeper than 5 m, with little sand accumulation.

Vegetation – such as plenty of water plants and plants overhanging the stream banks.

Cleanliness – in the form of good water quality.

Somewhere to hide – such as around large woody debris like logs.

But they don’t like:

Predators – including foxes, cats and dogs.

Poor habitats – where stream banks have been eroded and degraded, particularly by livestock.

Pollution – including detergents, fertilizers, pesticides and rubbish in their water.

Be a Platypus buddy

Try to:

  • leave burrows alone as the Platypus may be incubating eggs which are very fragile.
  • protect Platypus habitats by revegetating eroded creek banks with suitable locally native plants – check with your local council or native nursery to find out which plants would be best for your area.
  • fence off creek banks so livestock don’t damage them.
  • replant bare or eroded creek banks.
  • tread carefully and be very quiet if you want to spot a Platypus during the early morning or late afternoon.

Avoid:

  • using chemicals and pesticides in your garden, as the run off caused by rains can enter waterways and badly affect native animals by causing algal blooms.
  • using fishing nets or yabby traps in areas where Platypuses live.
  • spraying insecticides near rivers where they kill off food sources for Platypuses.

Don’t be surprised if:

  • you notice that Platypus come and go from an area. Platypuses may disappear in some areas due to predators.
  • you find a Platypus by itself. They are mainly solitary creatures.

What do they look like?

The Northern Quoll is the smallest of four species of marsupial carnivore in the genus Dasyurus and they are the most aggressive. The species was first described in 1842 and given the species name hallucatus, which means ‘notable first digit’. This refers to the short ‘thumb’ on the hindfoot, which aids in gripping and climbing. The hindfeet have pads and five toes. It has white spots on its back and rump and a long, unspotted tail. The tail length can reach 35 cm. Northern Quolls can weigh up to 1.2 kg and they are also called the northern Australian native cat.

Where do they live?

The Northern Quoll previously occurred across most of the northern third of Australia, but its range has declined significantly. The northern quoll occurs from the Pilbara region of Western Australia across the Northern Territory to south east Queensland.

The Northern Quoll occupies a range of habitats including rocky areas, eucalypt forest and woodlands, rainforests, sandy lowlands and beaches, shrubland, grasslands and desert. Their habitat generally has rocky areas for dens. Dens are made in rock crevices, tree hollows or occasionally termite mounds.

Fast facts:

  1. OUR CONSERVATION STATUS

National: Endangered

State: Critically Endangered (NT), Endangered (WA)

  1. The Northern Quoll is the smallest of four species of marsupial carnivore in the genus Dasyurus and they are the most aggressive. The species was first described in 1842 and given the species name hallucatus, which means ‘notable first digit’. This refers to the short ‘thumb’ on the hindfoot, which aids in gripping and climbing. The hindfeet have pads and five toes. It has white spots on its back and rump and a long, unspotted tail. The tail length can reach 35 cm. Northern Quolls can weigh up to 1.2 kg and they are also called the northern Australian native cat.
Northern Quoll
Northern Quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus)
OUR CONSERVATION STATUS
  • National: Endangered
  • State: Critically Endangered (NT), Endangered (WA)
HOW MANY OF US ARE THERE?

Unknown but undergoing rapid decline

WHERE DO WE LIVE?

The Northern Quoll previously occurred across most of the northern third of Australia, but its range has declined significantly. The northern quoll occurs from the Pilbara region of Western Australia across the Northern Territory to south east Queensland.

DID YOU KNOW?

The Northern Quoll is the smallest of four species of marsupial carnivore in the genus Dasyurus and they are the most aggressive. The species was first described in 1842 and given the species name hallucatus, which means ‘notable first digit’. This refers to the short ‘thumb’ on the hindfoot, which aids in gripping and climbing. The hindfeet have pads and five toes. It has white spots on its back and rump and a long, unspotted tail. The tail length can reach 35 cm. Northern Quolls can weigh up to 1.2 kg and they are also called the northern Australian native cat.

OUR HABITAT

The Northern Quoll occupies a range of habitats including rocky areas, eucalypt forest and woodlands, rainforests, sandy lowlands and beaches, shrubland, grasslands and desert. Their habitat generally has rocky areas for dens. Dens are made in rock crevices, tree hollows or occasionally termite mounds.

Northern Quolls are opportunistic omnivore predators and scavenge on a range of food including fleshy fruit (figs, native grapes), insects and other invertebrates, amphibians, small reptiles, small birds and rodents, and carrion.

FAMILY LIFE

Northern Quolls breed once each year and bear on average seven young. Females wean two to three young which become reproductively mature at 11 months.

Most Northern Quoll males die at the age of about 12 months, after the short, synchronised breeding period, leaving the females to raise the young alone. This species is the largest animal to be semelparous – the males reproduce only once, usually followed by death.

Young start to eat insects at four months old, and leave the den to forage at five months old, whilst still suckling from their mother. Juveniles are weaned at 6 months old, in November to early December.

THREATS TO OUR SURVIVAL
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation due to clearance of native vegetation
  • Predation from foxes and cats
  • Inappropriate and changed fire regimes
  • Invasive plants
  • Lethal toxic ingestion caused by Cane Toads

What do they look like?

The Numbat is a marsupial with reddish-brown fur and prominent white, stripes. It also has a dark stripe running across the eye from its ear to mouth. The Numbat can grow to 27.4 cm long and weigh up to 715 g. It has a bushy tail which can grow to 21 cm long.

Where do they live? 

The Numbat was originally widespread across southern semi-arid and arid Australia, from western New South Wales through South Australia and southern Northern Territory to the south-west of Western Australia. There are currently two native remnant populations in Western Australia and several reintroduced populations. The two small Western Australia populations were able to survive because both areas have many hollow logs that may serve as refuge from predators.

Numbats now live in eucalypt forests and woodlands. The Numbat has a specialised diet of termites but it is not powerful enough to extract the prey from their mounds so instead must feed on termites when they are active in shallow subsurface soil galleries during the day. The species uses a variety of shelter at night including hollow logs, tree hollows and burrows, and these are also used to avid predators during the day.

Fast facts:

  1. OUR CONSERVATION STATUS 

National: Endangered    
State: Extinct (NSW, NT), Endangered (SA), Vulnerable (WA)

  1. The Numbat has a specialised diet of termites but it is not powerful enough to extract the prey from their mounds so instead must feed on termites when they are active in shallow subsurface soil galleries during the day.
Numbat
NUMBAT (Myrmecobius fasciatus)
OUR CONSERVATION STATUS 

National: Endangered    
State: Extinct (NSW, NT), Endangered (SA), Vulnerable (WA)

HOW MANY OF US ARE THERE?

< 1,000 individuals

WHERE DO WE LIVE?

The Numbat was originally widespread across southern semi-arid and arid Australia, from western New South Wales through South Australia and southern Northern Territory to the south-west of Western Australia. There are currently two native remnant populations in Western Australia and several reintroduced populations. The two small Western Australia populations were able to survive because both areas have many hollow logs that may serve as refuge from predators.

DID YOUK NOW? 

The Numbat is a marsupial with reddish-brown fur and prominent white, stripes. It also has a dark stripe running across the eye from its ear to mouth. The Numbat can grow to 27.4 cm long and weigh up to 715 g. It has a bushy tail which can grow to 21 cm long.

OUR HABITAT

Numbats now live in eucalypt forests and woodlands. The Numbat has a specialised diet of termites but it is not powerful enough to extract the prey from their mounds so instead must feed on termites when they are active in shallow subsurface soil galleries during the day. The species uses a variety of shelter at night including hollow logs, tree hollows and burrows, and these are also used to avid predators during the day.

FAMILY LIFE

Females occupy exclusive home ranges that overlap with males. During the non-breeding months, males also occupy exclusive home ranges but roam further than usual in the months preceding and during mating. Female Numbats produce one litter (max. of four) per year during summer. Breeding occurs in January and up to four pouch young are carried until about six months old when the female deposits them in one of her dens. Young begin foraging at about eight months and disperse in December.

THREATS TO OUR SURVIVAL
  • Habitat loss and fragmentation due to clearance of native vegetation
  • Predation from foxes, cats and dogs
  • Inappropriate and changed fire regimes