Looking for the rare Brushtailed Phascogale on South Coast

Have you ever seen one of the rarest animals on NSW South Coast - a Brushtailed Phascogale (phas-co-gale)?
Susan Rhind, a wildlife biologist, has worked with this species for years and thought the pretty marsupial with its bottle-brush tail was extinct (or near enough) on NSW South Coast. When reviewing records for the revised edition of ‘The Mammals of Australia’ published by the Australian Museum, she came across a sighting at Broulee. Now she needs our help to find where phascogales may still be and where they may have been in the recent past. Brushtailed phascogales are rare – listed as a threatened species in every state and territory of Australia. In total there are only 21 records for southern NSW – about 3 records per decade. The one at Broulee was spotted at night foraging in a compost heap at Carroll College (2015). Before that sightings were at Longbeach (2007), at Duesbury Hill at Dalmeny (2001) and Dunn’s Creek Rd, near Malua Bay (1997).
Rarely seen, this species is arboreal and doesn’t like coming to the ground. It is nocturnal and solitary, and in the trees can be so lightning fast that it vanishes before you get a good look. It is completely dependent on large, old trees for hollows to nest in during the day and for its food of bark insects. Habitat destruction, logging, clearing for development – and drought and bushfires – are all a concern, as well as cats.
Around the size and colour of a sugar glider (approx 30cm head to tail), they look squirrel-like because of their brushy black tail. When excited all those hairs stand on end and the tail looks like a bottle brush. That is the most distinguishing feature. Maybe one has moved into your ceiling (this is quite common) or the cat has brought one home? They love nest-boxes so if you have any on your property the “best” time for watching is at dusk during the mating season (May-June) when males run around like crazy, and again Nov-Jan when the young are dispersing.
If you have seen a phascogale now or in the recent past please contact Susan Rhind: PhascogaleFSC@gmail.com

由使用者 barv barv2021年09月21日 07:27 所貼文




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