National Recovery Plan for the Woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi)
Yeatman, G.J. and Groom, C.J.
Department of Environment and Conservation (WA), 2012
- National Recovery Plan for the Woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi) (PDF - 1,250 KB) | National Recovery Plan for the Woylie (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi)(Word - 2,082 KB)
The brush-tailed bettong Bettongia penicillata is a small potoroid marsupial which once occupied most of the Australian mainland. The current distribution of the surviving subspecies, the woylie (B. p. ogilbyi), is concentrated in south west Western Australia but there are also translocated populations in South Australia and New South Wales where it occupies a variety of habitats. Past threats which led to the decline of the species included predation by foxes and feral cats, habitat destruction and altered fire regimes.
Efforts made to recover the species led to its removal from threatened fauna lists in 1996 following a review of its conservation status (see Start et al. 1998). Recently there has been a sudden and dramatic decline in the abundance of woylies which resulted in a second review of its conservation status (see Freegard, 2007; Groom, 2010). The exact cause(s) of the recent decline has not been isolated, although predation by feral cats and foxes, and possibly disease, have been implicated.
The woylie is currently specially protected under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 as threatened fauna, with a ranking of Critically Endangered and is also listed as Endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
This is the first national Recovery Plan for the woylie and the third Western Australia recovery plan for the species. It details the woylie's current distribution, habitat and threats, as well as the recovery objectives and actions necessary to ensure the species' long-term survival.