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100 years on, Old Pelion Hut retains its charm

19/09/2017

One of Tasmania's favourite historic mountain huts, Old Pelion Hut in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, is celebrating its centenary this year.More

Future-proofing our tourism icons

18/09/2017

Environment and Parks Minister Matthew Groom has announced that $8 million will be allocated to upgrade vital infrastructure in our parks and reserves over the next two years.More

Tenders advertised for Freycinet Master Plan

28/08/2017

Freycinet is one of the absolute jewels in Tasmania's crown, with locals and visitors flocking to the area in droves to experience one of the world's most stunning areas.
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Long-nosed Potoroo, Potorous tridactylus

Description

Potoroo

Potoroos reach 1.3 kg in weight and range in colour from red-brown on the west coast to grey on the east coast, with paler fur on the belly. Most individuals have a white tip at the end of their tail. The potoroo may also be identified by its darker colour, and its larger, more pointed nose which has a bare patch of skin above the nostrils.

Distribution and habitat

The species is widespread in Tasmania and are found on Flinders Island and Bruny Island. The potoroo is still found on the east coast of the mainland, where its range has decreased.

Preferred habitat ranges from moderately dry grassy woodland to wet dense scrub under which it forms a system of tracks or 'runways'. The potoroo is nocturnal, spending the hours of daylight in thick vegetation.

Diet

The diet of the potoroo includes seeds, roots, bulbs and insects. However, the main components in the diet are underground fungi which are dug up using the strong forepaws. Occasionally, potoroos will venture into gardens and dig up seedlings in a search for soil invertebrates and fungi. If this is a real problem a low netting fence can be erected. Masked owls, eastern quolls, feral cats and dogs regularly prey on potoroos.

Breeding

Footprints of potoroo

There is no specific breeding season, with animals capable of giving birth throughout the year, although in the potoroo there is a tendency for most births to occur from the end of winter to early spring.

Gestation period is 38 days, the longest of any macropod despite its relatively small size. Pouch life is 4 months. Young potoroos are weaned at 5 - 6 months and are sexually mature at about 8-10 months for females and a liitle later for males. Up to two young per year are produced.

Longevity in the wild averages 2 - 3 years, but can live for up to 7 years.

Status

The potoroo is common in suitable habitat. However, it can be affected by the clearing of bush areas, with new growth forest being less suitable for their needs. It is wholly protected.