- Lines, William J. Taming The Great South Land: A History Of The Conquest Of Nature In AustraliaBinding : Taschenbuch, Edition : 1st Edition in this form, Label : University of Georgia Press, Publisher : University of Georgia Press, NumberOfItems : 1, PackageQuantity : 1, medium : Taschenbuch, numberOfPages : 347, publicationDate : 1999-04-01, releaseDate : 1999-04-01, authors : Lines, William J., ISBN : 0820320560
More than 100 years after disappearing from the south of the continent, the bushy-tailed bettongia, which looks like a rabbit-sized kangaroo, has been reintroduced.
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It is also called the Tasmanian bettong. More than 100 years after disappearing from southern Australia, thea bushy-tailed bettongia, marsupial resembling a kangaroo the size of a rabbit, was reintroduced in Yorke Peninsula, South Australia, reported researchers, Friday, May 19. Scientists released 120 specimens over a period of two years to see if they can survive.
The animal once populated more than 60% of Australia before falling victim to cats, foxes and land clearing after European settlement more than two centuries ago. From tens of millions, their population has grown to around 12,000 to 18,000 today, mostly on the islands of Australia, in protected enclosures, and in some pockets of Western Australia.
A return favored by predator control
The researchers said they trapped 85 bushy-tailed bettongies and found that 40% of them were born on the peninsula, while 42 of the 45 females were carrying young in their pouches. « It’s fantastic to see so many new animals »said Derek Sandow, environmentalist for the Northern and Yorke Landscape Committee.
Their return to South Australia has been aided by an intensive cat and fox control program, Derek Sandow said, as well as a « leaky » fence designed to reduce the passage of predators, without excluding them altogether. In case of attack, females have an unusual but effective defense mechanism. To escape, not only « they zigzag at high speed in the bush » but they throw their young out of their pouch in the hope of escaping while the predator preys on their offspring.
« It may sound like horrible parenting, but it’s a real achievement »said the specialist, pointing out that females often have embryos ready in the pouch, when their young go away naturally or die.