Gilbert's Potoroo, sometimes called the "rat-kangaroo" is a small marsupial teetering on the brink of extinction. Found naturally only in dense scrub on a rugged, windswept headland thrusting out into the Southern Ocean at Mount Gardner headland, Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, just 20 minutes from HideAway Haven, in Amazing Albany on the South Coast of Western Australia. Within that small area (1000 ha), it occurs in at least four separate patches of long-unburnt, dense shrubland on the valley slopes It is estimated there are only 30 to 40 animals in the only known wild population. The greatest threat to its continued existence is wildfire.
Gilbert Potoroo's are a medium-sized mammal slightly smaller than a rabbit and bearing some resemblance to a bandicoot, Gilbert's Potoroo has a dense coat of soft grey-brown fur. Adults range from 900 g to 1200 g. Gilbert’s Potoroo feeds mainly on underground fungi.
Female Gilbert's Potoroos can produce young at any time of year. Young are born 4-6 weeks after mating and are approximately 1 cm long at that stage. They spend three to four months in the pouch before coming out for the first time at around 150g body weight. Within a week, at around 190g, they have permanently left the pouch, although for around a month they will still suckle from the mother. Young potoroos begin to eat solid food as soon as they leave the pouch and over the next few months they gain, on average, 6g/day. They remain in their mother's home range for another month or two but at about six months of age, when their weight reaches 500-600g, they will leave. (source: Potoroo.org) Hand-rearing of large pouch young is successful, but it is very labour-intensive.
What can you do to help with conservation?
- Learn more about endangered species and spread the word to family, friends and colleagues. Our More Information page is a good starting point for further research and includes links to other relevant sites and a list of further reading.
- Join a conservation organisation such as:
- Our Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group
- Australian Conservation Foundation
- World Wide Fund for Nature
- Organise a fund raising activity for Gilbert's Potoroo. Donations can be given to:
- Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group
- Perth Zoo
If you think you may have seen a Gilbert's Potoroo, or found animal remains which you think could be a Gilbert's Potoroo, please check our sightings page which gives guidance on distinguishing Potoroos from similar animals and complete the online sighting report; alternatively, you can note down the sighting details as listed on the page and contact us at:
HideAway Haven is a luxury 5 star, multi award winning hosted accommodation in Albany, on the Amazing South Coast of Western Australia. We love creating memories for our guests. Our passion is sustainability and the care of our precious wildlife.