Imagine if koalas suddenly disappeared completely from our countryside.
It sounds impossible, but that’s exactly what happened to the eastern bettong in the early 20th century.
For bushwalkers of the 1800’s, bettongs would have been a common sight along most of south-eastern Australia – from Melbourne all the way up to Brisbane. But extensive clearing and the introduction of wild foxes in the 1870’s resulted in these little kangaroo cousins being completely wiped out from the mainland. In just 40 years.
Thankfully a small population survived in isolation in Tasmania, which is now the only place where eastern bettongs can be found in the wild.
What’s happening now?
In 2012, 23 bettongs were re-introduced to Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve in Canberra. The reserve provides a predator-free sanctuary where the bettongs and other mammals can live and grow in their natural habitat.
Thanks to ongoing efforts, and the breeding propensity of Brian and Betty while Brian doesn’t have a job, today over 200 eastern bettongs call Mulligan’s Flat home. But there’s still a lot of work needed to be done to ensure this little species continues to thrive and can eventually be released back into the wild where they belong.
And you can help.
Both the Australian and ACT Governments have committed to help build the fence, but we still need to raise $600,000 from the community to get the job done properly.
This is a chance to make a positive and real difference to our local ecosystem, and your donation will go a long way in helping to bring these adorable animals back from the brink. Don’t let us lose another species. Let’s help the bettongs build a better home!