Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans Western Barred Bandicoot Perameles bougainville, Burrowing Bettong Bettongia lesueur and Banded Hare-Wallaby Lagostrophus fasciatus National Recovery Plan (Richards, J.D., 2012a) [Recovery Plan].
 
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Environment Australia (EA), 1999a) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats (Environment Australia (EA), 1999b) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (Environment Australia (EA), 1999c) [Threat Abatement Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
Non-government
    Documents and Websites
The action plan for threatened Australian macropods 2011-2021 (World Wildlife Fund for Nature - Australia (WWF), 2011).
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013)
Scientific name Bettongia lesueur lesueur [66659]
Family Potoroidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Quoy and Gaimard,1824)
Infraspecies author  
Reference  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://www.dwe.csiro.au/research/progc/threatened_species/bettongs.htm

Scientific name: Bettongia lesueur lesueur

Common name: Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay)

Other names: Boodie

The Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) is a small, thickset grey marsupial with short, rounded ears. The species body length is 36 cm long, while it has a wide tail which grows to 30 cm long (Strahan 1998).

Surveys have been carried out for Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) on Bernier and Dorre Islands in 1988–89, 1991–92 and most recently in 2006 by a team of scientists from Western Australian (DEC) and Murdoch University. The 2006 survey used spotlighting and trapping to record animal numbers (Reinhold & Thomas 2007).

On Bernier Island and Dorre Island Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) were trapped mainly in Triodia grasslands on the sandplains, with lesser numbers in heath and scrub vegetation (Short & Turner 1999). Vegetation types on Heirisson Prong are similar to those on the islands (Short et al. 1995).

There are no known microhabitat requirements for breeding. The proportion of females breeding is influenced by rainfall as is the timing of onset and cessation of the breeding season (Short & Turner 1999).

Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) have been reported digging into turtle nests on beaches on islands (Reinhold & Thomas 2007).

There is no published data on social structure, movements or home ranges in the wild for the Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay). In the captive breeding colony at Heirisson Prong, Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) had a restricted daytime range but wandered around the enclosure at night. Warrens were used by multiple animals with males moving between warrens more frequently than females (Sander et al. 1997).

Wedge-tailed Eagles are a major predator of small mammals in the Shark Bay region, but as they take prey in proportion to abundance, and as Hare Wallabies far outnumber Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) on Bernier Island and Dorre Island, this predator is not a major threat (Richards & Short 1998).

Feral cats and foxes are considered a major threat to the species (Short et al. 1995). A study of the prey eaten by these predators at Heirisson Prong indicated that cats pose the biggest threat to the species as evident by the abundance of Burrowing Bettong (Shark Bay) found in stomach analysis (Risbey et al. 1999).

An area at the tip of Heirisson Prong was fenced and predator reduction programs initiated between 1990–93 (Short et al. 1995). Between 1992–95 three groups of bettongs (total 42) were introduced from Dorre Island, 22 into captive breeding yards and 20 directly to fenced reserve. From 1993–98, 114 animals from the captive breeding colony were released into the wild and, in October 1999, 263 individuals were known to be alive (Short & Turner 2000).

Friends of the Arid Recovery Project (SA) received $12 900 of funding through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2000–01, part of which was for the re-introduction of this species to a site at Roxby Downs.

Useless Loop Community Biosphere Project Group Inc (WA) received $15 200 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2003–04, part of which was for protection of a re-introduced population of this species from predation by feral cats and foxes.

Useless Loop Community Biosphere Project Group Inc (WA) received $10 000 through the Threatened Species Network Community Grants in 2005–06, part of which was for the continuation of mammal recovery efforts in the management of Heirisson Prong Peninsula, following the re-introduction of this species. The work includes predator control, community education and population monitoring.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Climate Change and Severe Weather:Reduced rainfall caused by climate change Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Bettongia lesueur lesueurin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cf) [Internet].
Reintroduction of endangered mammals to mainland Shark Bay: a progress report. In: Serena, M., ed. Reintroduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. Page(s) 183-188. (Short, J., B. Turner, S. Parker & J. Twiss, 1995) [Book].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Bettongia lesueur lesueurin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cf) [Internet].
Reintroduction of endangered mammals to mainland Shark Bay: a progress report. In: Serena, M., ed. Reintroduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. Page(s) 183-188. (Short, J., B. Turner, S. Parker & J. Twiss, 1995) [Book].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Problematic Native Species:Competition and/or predation by birds Bettongia lesueur lesueurin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cf) [Internet].
Wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax predation on endangered mammals and rabbits at Shark Bay, Western Australia. Emu. 98:23-31. (Richards, J.D. & J. Short, 1998) [Journal].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].

Arid Recovery (2007). Restoring Australia's arid lands: Burrowing Bettong. [Online]. Available from: http://www.aridrecovery.org.au/. [Accessed: 18-Jun-2007].

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-mammals.html.

Reinhold, L. & N. Thomas (2007). Bernier and Dorre: Islands of marsupials, mice and men. Landscope. 22(4):46-52.

Richards, J.D. & J. Short (1998). Wedge-tailed eagle Aquila audax predation on endangered mammals and rabbits at Shark Bay, Western Australia. Emu. 98:23-31.

Risbey, D.A., M.C. Calver & J. Short (1999). The impact of cats and foxes on the small vertebrate fauna of Heirisson Prong, Western Australia. I. Exploring potential impact using diet analysis. Wildlife Research. 26:621-630.

Sander, U., J. Short & B. Turner (1997). Social organisation and warren use of the burrowing bettong, Bettongia lesueur (Macropodoidea: Potoroidae). Wildlife Research. 24:143-157.

Short, J. & B. Turner (1993). The distribution and abundance of the burrowing bettong (Marsupialia: Macropodoidea). Wildlife Research. 20:525-534.

Short, J. & B. Turner (1999). Ecology of burrowing bettongs, Bettongia lesueur (Marsupialia: Potoroidae), on Dorre and Bernier Islands, Western Australia. Wildlife Research. 26:651-669.

Short, J. & B. Turner (2000). Reintroduction of the burrowing bettong Bettongia lesueur (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) to mainland Australia. Biological Conservation. 96:185-196.

Short, J., B. Turner, C. Majors & J. Leone (1997). The fluctuating abundance of endangered mammals on Bernier and Dorre Islands, Western Australia - conservation implications. Australian Mammalogy. 20:53-61.

Short, J., B. Turner, S. Parker & J. Twiss (1995). Reintroduction of endangered mammals to mainland Shark Bay: a progress report. In: Serena, M., ed. Reintroduction biology of Australian and New Zealand fauna. Page(s) 183-188. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.

Strahan, R. (Ed.) (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Bettongia lesueur lesueur in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:37:54 +1000.