Rufous Bettong

 Aepyprymnus rufescens

The Rufous bettong a small marsupials, is part of the rat kangaroo family and measure just 70 to 80 cm long from nose to tail. It is listed on the threatened species list as it faces severe threatening processes due to loss of habitat. The population and distribution have been severely reduced as it depends on particular types of diet and habitat.

Rufous bettongs inhabit a variety of forests from tall, moist eucalypt forest to open woodland, with a tussock grass understorey. A dense cover of tall native grasses is the preferred shelter. They sleep during the day within in cone-shaped nests in a shallow depression at the base of a tussock or fallen log. The nest is constructed of grass which is collected using their tails to carry the nesting material; sadly nests are easily disturbed and destroyed by larger animals accessing the same ground.

  At night they feed on grasses, herbs, seeds, flowers, roots, tubers, fungi and occasionally insects.

Rufous bettongs move quite slowly by placing the forelegs on the ground and bringing the hind legs forward together, but also hop like a kangaroo. When alarmed they stamp their hind feet on the ground.

The original range from Coen in north Queensland to central Victoria has been reduced to a patchy distribution from Cooktown, Queensland, to North-eastern NSW.  

Main threats  are loss of habitat, motor vehicles, the fox, dingo,  birds of prey, python snakes and wild and domestic dogs and cats.