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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Reintroduction of the burrowing bettong Bettongia lesueur (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) to mainland Australia

Published source details

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


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals in areas with invasive/problematic species eradication/control Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1993–1999 on an arid peninsula in Western Australia, Australia (Short & Turner 2000) found that following eradication of invasive species from a fenced area, a released population of burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur increased. In 1999, six years after initial releases, the population was estimated at 263–301 bettongs, with 340 individuals born between 1995 and 1999. The population died out due to fox incursion in 1994, but was re-established with further releases. In 1990, a 1.6-m tall wire mesh fence (with an external overhang, an apron to prevent burrowing and two electrified wires) was erected to enclose a 12-km2 peninsular, within which foxes Vulpes vulpes and cats Felis catus were eliminated by poisoning in 1991 and 1995, respectively. Outside the fence foxes were controlled by biannual aerial baiting with meat containing 1080 toxin, distributed at 10 baits/km2 over 200 km2. From October 1993, an additional 200 baits/month were distributed along the fence and roads across the study area. Cats were controlled by trapping and poisoning in a 100 km2 buffer zone. In May 1992 and September 1993, twenty-two wild-caught bettongs were transferred to an 8-ha in-situ captive-breeding pen. In September 1993 and October 1995, twenty wild-caught bettongs were translocated to range freely in the reserve. From 1993–1998, one hundred and fourteen captive-bred bettongs were released. Artificial warrens and supplementary food and water were provided in 1993, but not for later releases. Eighty released bettongs were radio-tagged. From 1991–1995, European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus were controlled within the fenced area using 1080 ‘one shot’ oats. Bettongs were monitored every three months using cage traps set over two consecutive nights, at both 100-m intervals along approximately 40 km of track, and at warrens used by radio-collared individuals.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release captive-bred mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1993–1999 on an arid peninsula in Western Australia, Australia (Short & Turner 2000) found that following release into a fenced area where invasive species had been eradicated, a population of burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur increased. In 1999, six years after initial releases, the population was estimated at 263–301 bettongs, with 340 individuals born between 1995 and 1999. The population died out due to fox incursion in 1994, but was re-established with further releases. In 1990, a 1.6-m tall wire mesh fence (with an external overhang, an apron to prevent burrowing and two electrified wires) was erected to enclose a 12-km2 peninsular, within which foxes Vulpes vulpes and cats Felis catus were eliminated by poisoning in 1991 and 1995, respectively. Outside the fence foxes were controlled by biannual aerial baiting with meat containing 1080 toxin, distributed at 10 baits/km2 over 200 km2. From October 1993, an additional 200 baits/month were distributed along the fence and roads across the study area. Cats were controlled by trapping and poisoning in a 100 km2 buffer zone. In May 1992 and September 1993, twenty-two wild-caught bettongs were transferred to an 8-ha in-situ captive-breeding pen. In September 1993 and October 1995, 20 wild-caught bettongs were translocated to range freely in the reserve. From 1993–1998, one hundred and fourteen captive-bred bettongs were released. Artificial warrens, supplementary food and water were provided in 1993, but not for later releases. Eighty released bettongs were radio-tagged. From 1991–1995, European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus were controlled within the fenced area using 1080 ‘one shot’ oats. Bettongs were monitored every three months using cage traps set over two consecutive nights, at both 100-m intervals along approximately 40 km of track, and at warrens used by radio-collared individuals.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)

Release translocated mammals into fenced areas Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1993–1999 on an arid peninsula in Western Australia, Australia (Short & Turner 2000) found that following release into a fenced area where invasive species had been eradicated, a population of burrowing bettongs Bettongia lesueur increased. In 1999, six years after initial releases, the population was estimated at 263–301 bettongs, with 340 individuals born between 1995 and 1999. The population died out due to fox incursion in 1994, but was re-established with further releases. In 1990, a 1.6-m tall wire mesh fence (with an external overhang, an apron to prevent burrowing and two electrified wires) was erected to enclose a 12-km2 peninsular, within which foxes Vulpes vulpes and cats Felis catus were eliminated by poisoning in 1991 and 1995, respectively. Outside the fence foxes were controlled by biannual aerial baiting with meat containing 1080 toxin, distributed at 10 baits/km2 over 200 km2. From October 1993, an additional 200 baits/month were distributed along the fence and roads across the study area. Cats were controlled by trapping and poisoning in a 100 km2 buffer zone. In May 1992 and September 1993, twenty-two wild-caught bettongs were transferred to an 8-ha in-situ captive-breeding pen. In September 1993 and October 1995, twenty wild-caught bettongs were translocated to range freely in the reserve. From 1993–1998, one hundred and fourteen captive-bred bettongs were released. Artificial warrens and supplementary food and water were provided in 1993, but not for later releases. Eighty released bettongs were radio-tagged. From 1991–1995, European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus were controlled within the fenced area using 1080 ‘one shot’ oats. Bettongs were monitored every three months using cage traps set over two consecutive nights, at both 100-m intervals along approximately 40 km of track, and at warrens used by radio-collared individuals.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)