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Brush-tailed bettong

Brush-tailed bettong

The Brush-tailed Bettong (Bettongia penicillata) is a small marsupial in the kangaroo family. The body is greyish brown above and paler below. It has a long tail with black crest along the end half. The underside of the tail is light brown.


Open forests and woodlands with understorey of thick grass or dense low shrubs.

Wild status

Critically endangered conservation status

Critically endangered (IUCN 3.1)[2]


Brush-tailed bettong eat seeds, roots, plant shoots. They also eat fungus and underground truffles.


The main threats are habitat loss / degradation, and predators such as cats and foxes.


Body length about 30 to 38cm. Tail length between 29 and 36cm. Weight about 1.1 to 1.6kg.


The brush-tailed bettong can breed all year round if the conditions are favourable. The female can breed at six months of age and give birth every three and a half months. A single joey is born after a gestation period of about 21 days. The pouch life is about three months. Its lifespan in the wild is about four to six years.

Extra fun facts

The brush-tailed bettong is also known as a woylie.

They build a small nest from sticks and leaves under a bush or at the base of a tree, for shelter and protection.

The brush-tailed bettong was once found throughout southern parts of Western Australia, South Australia and western New South Wales. It is now confined to parts of south-west Western Australia, and small areas of South Australia where it has been reintroduced.

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