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 Extinct
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
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].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 14 - Extinct Mammals 2 (Mansergh, I. & J. Seebeck, 2003) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Extinct* (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): August 2014 list)
QLD: Listed as Extinct in the Wild (Nature Conservation Act 1992 (Queensland): May 2014 list)
VIC: Listed as Threatened* (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): May 2014 list)
Non-statutory Listing Status
VIC: Listed as Extinct (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013 list)
Scientific name Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi [66656]
Family Potoroidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author (Desmarest,1822)
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map not available for this taxon.
Illustrations Google Images

New South Wales: At the species level, Bettongia gaimardi is listed as Extinct under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Victoria: At the species level, Bettongia gaimardi is listed as Threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

Scientific name: Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi

Common name: Eastern Bettong (mainland)

Wakefield (1967) consolidated two species (Bettongia cuniculus and B. gaimardi) into a single species with two subspecies: the extant Tasmanian Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi cuniculus) and the extinct Eastern Bettong (mainland) (Bettongia gaimardi gaimardi).

A description of the Eastern Bettong (mainland) is unavailable, however, the closely related Tasmanian Bettong has the longest fur and the lightest coloration (light brown with white flecks) of all Bettongia. The long tail is semi-prehensile and gradually darkens from the base to the tip, but ends with a white tip. The belly is very light in colour (Fisher et al. 2001; Hutchins et al. 2003; Rose 1986, 1987; Rose & Rose 1998; Rose et al. 1998; Wakefield 1967).

Measurements of the Eastern Bettong (mainland) are unavailable, however, the closely related Tasmanian Bettong has a small, compact body, with an average total length of 65 cm. The tail of the Tasmanian Bettong tends to be slightly longer than its head-body measurement, although both range between 32–33 cm in adults. Males are slightly longer and thinner than females, although sexual dimorphism is not pronounced. The Tasmanian Bettong weighs 1.2–2.3 kg (Fisher et al. 2001; Rose 1986, 1987; Rose & Rose 1998; Rose et al. 1998; Wakefield 1967).

The Eastern Bettong (mainland) disappeared around the 1920s (Menkhorst 2008). The Eastern Bettong (mainland) was formerly distributed along the coastal areas of eastern Australia, from south-east Queensland to the south-east tip of South Australia (Wakefield 1967).

Based on studies conducted on the Tasmanian Bettong, it is likely that Eastern Bettongs (mainland) were associated with grassland areas, heathlands and sclerophyll woodland (Rose & Johnson 2008).

Based on studies of the Tasmanian Bettong, the lifespan of the Eastern Bettong (mainland) was likely to be between three and six years (Fisher et al. 2001; Rose 1986).

Based on studies of the Tasmanian Bettong, it could be assumed that male Eastern Bettongs (mainland) did not partake in parenting, with females being solely responsible for the young. The females would carry each offspring first in utero and then in the pouch, protecting it and nursing it until the offspring had become independent. The Eastern Bettong (mainland) may have built densely woven nests of dry grass and bark (Rose & Johnson 2008).

Both sexes would have been territorial and led solitary lives except during the mating season or when a female was with her young before weaning (Hutchins et al. 2003; Wakefield 1967).

Based on the Tasmanian Bettong, it could be assumed that Eastern Bettongs (mainland) were mycophagous (fungi eating). Fungi may have comprised as much as 80% of the diet, with seeds, roots and bulbs making up the remainder of the diet (Rose & Johnson 2008). They may have foraged by hopping slowly using all four limbs, using the forelimbs to dig for food (Rose 1997; Wakefield 1967).

Based on studies of the Tasmanian Bettong, the Eastern Bettong (mainland) may have had a home range of 65–135 ha (Rose & Johnson 2008).

The extinction of the Eastern Bettong (mainland) has been attributed to the introduction of the European Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and habitat degradation and competition by the European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) (Rose 1986).

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
Uncategorised:Uncategorised:threats not specified Bettongia gaimardi gaimardiin Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cd) [Internet].

Fisher, D., I. Owens & C. Johnson (2001). The ecological basis of life history variation in marsupials. Ecology. 82:3531-3540.

Hutchins, M., D.G. Kleinman, V. Geist & M.C. McDade, eds. (2003). Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia, 2nd edition.:78. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale Group.

Menkhorst, P. (2008). Bettongia gaimardi. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN), eds. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. [Online].

Rose, R. (1986). The habitat, distribution and conservation status of the Tasmanian Bettong, Bettongia gaimardi (Desmarest). Australian Wildlife Research. 13:1-6.

Rose, R., N. Kuswanti & E. Colquhoun (1998). Development of endothermy in a Tasmanian marsupial, Bettongia gaimardi, and its response to cold and noradrenaline. Journal of Comparative Physiology B: Biochemical, Systemic, and Environmental Physiology. 5:359-363.

Rose, R.W. (1987). The reproductive biology of the Tasmanian Bettong (Bettongia gaimardi: Macropodidae). Journal of Zoology London. 212:59-67.

Rose, R.W. & K.A. Johnson (2008). Tasmanian Bettong. In: Van Dyck, S. & R. Strahan, eds. Mammals of Australia. Page(s) 287-288. Sydney, NSW: Reed New Holland.

Rose, R.W. & R.K. Rose (1998). Bettongia gaimardi. Mammalian Species. 584:1-6. [Online]. American Society of Mammalogists. Available from:

Wakefield, N. (1967). Some taxonomic revision in the Australian marsupial genus Bettongia, with description of a new species. The Victorian Naturalist. 84:8-22.

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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 gaimardi gaimardi in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Tue, 23 Sep 2014 15:14:13 +1000.