Bettongia tropica Wakefield, 1967:15

Northern bettong, Northern brush-tailed bettong, Tropical bettong, Brush-tailed bettong



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Bettongia penicillata tropica (Wakefield, 1967:15)


Conservation Status

Last record: 1932 (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1973)

Rediscovered in 1976

IUCN RedList status: Endangered



Queensland (coastal northeast), Australia

Type locality: "Mt Spurgeon, E Qld" (Calaby & Richardson, 1988:56)


Biology & Ecology

"Ecology: subtropical, tall open woodland, terrestrial."

(Calaby & Richardson, 1988:56)



Holotype: NMV C6870 [ex MCZ 29207] (adult male; skin & skull) (Calaby & Richardson, 1988:56)






Original scientific description:

Wakefield, N. A. (1967). Some taxonomic revision in the Australian marsupial genus Bettongia (Macropodidae), with description of a new species. Victorian Naturalist 84: 8-22.


Other references:

Bateman, B., J. VanDerWal, S. Williams & C. Johnson (2009). Modelling Biotic Interactions under Climate Change Scenarios: Predicting Northern Bettong (Bettongia tropica) Distribution. In: Semi-Centenary and 55th Meeting in Perth July 5-9, 2009 Scientific Program.

Burnett, S. and Winter, J. (2008). Bettongia tropica. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. ( Downloaded on 02 August 2014.

Calaby, J. H. and Richardson, B. J. (1988). Potoroidae, pp. 53-59. In: Walton, D. W. (ed.). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 5. Mammalia. Canberra: Australian Government Publishing Service. x + 273 pp. [p. 56]

Dennis, A. J. (2001). Recovery plan for the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica 2000-2004. Report to Environment Australia, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Brisbane, Canberra, Australia.

Frith, H. J. (1979). Wildlife Conservation, revised edition. Angus & Robertson. xiv + 416 pp. [p. 302 (table), p. 319 (species account)]

Geyle, Hayley M. et al. (2018). Quantifying extinction risk and forecasting the number of impending Australian bird and mammal extinctions. Pacific Conservation Biology 24(2): 157-167.

Goodwin, Harry A. and Goodwin, J. M. (1973). List of mammals which have become extinct or are possibly extinct since 1600. Int. Union Conserv. Nat. Occas. Pap. 8: 1-20.

Herald Sun (2002). Survivors cling on. Herald Sun (Melbourne). 9 May 2002.

Jackson, Stephen and Groves, Colin. (2015). Taxonomy of Australian Mammals. Clayton South, Melbourne: CSIRO Publishing. 529 pp. [p. 137]

Johnson, Chris N. (2006). Australia's Mammal Extinctions: A 50 000 Year History. Port Melbourne, Victoria: Cambridge University Press. x + 278 pp. [pl. 35]

Johnson, C.N. & McIlwee, A.P. (1997). Ecology of the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica, a tropical mycophagist. Wildlife Research. 24:549-559.

Johnson, P.M. & Delean, S. (2001). Reproduction in the northern bettong, Bettongia tropica Wakefield (Marsupialia: Potoroidae), in captivity, with age estimation and development of pouch young. Wildlife Research. 28:79-85.

Laurance, W.F (1996). A distributional survey and habitat model for the endangered northern bettong (Bettongia tropica) in tropical Queensland. Report to the Department of Environment.

Laurance, William F. (1997). A distributional survey and habitat model for the endangered northern bettong Bettongia tropica in tropical Queensland. Biological Conservation. 82:47-60.

McIlwee, A.P. & Johnson, C.N. (1998). The contribution of fungus to the diets of three mycophagous marsupials in Eucalyptus forests, revealed by stable isotope forests. Functional Ecology. 12:223-231.

Pope, L. C., A. Estoup, and C. Moritz. 2000. Phylogeography and population strucute of an ecotonal marsupial, Bettongia tropica, determined using mtDNA and microsatellites. Molecular Ecology 9: 2041-2053.

Sattler, P., & R. Williams (1999). The Conservation Status of Queensland's Biogeographic Regions. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.

Sharman, G. B., C. E. Murtagh, P. M. Johnson, and C. M. Weaver. 1980. The chromosomes of a rat kangaroo attributable to Bettongia tropica (Marsupialia; Macropodidae). Australian Journal of Zoology 28: 59-63.

Smith, M. J. (1998). Establishment of a captive colony of Bettongia tropica (Marsupialia: Potoroidae) by cross-fostering; and observations on reproduction. Journal of Zoology, London 244: 43-50.

Strahan, R. (Ed.) (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

Taylor, R.J. (1991). Plants, fungi and bettongs: a fire-dependent co-evolutionary relationship. Australian Journal of Ecology. 16:409-411.

Todd, Stephanie Jean et al. (2022). Diversity and structure of Bettongia tropica: using population genetics to guide reintroduction and help prevent the extinction of an endangered Australian marsupial. Research Square preprint.

Vernes, K. (1998). Ecology of the Northern Bettong (Bettongia tropica) in relation to fire. Report to the the Conservation Strategy Branch of the Department of Environment.

Vernes, K. (2000). Immediate effects of fire on survivorship of the northern bettong (Bettongia tropica): an endangered Australian marsupial. Biological Conservation. 96: 305-309.

Vernes, K. (2003). Fine-scale habitat preferences and habitat partitioning by three mycophagous mammals in tropical wet sclerophyll forest, north-eastern Australia. Austral Ecology. 28:471-479.

Vernes, Karl., Castellano, M. and Johnson, C. N. (2001). Effects of season and fire on the diversity of hypogeous fungi consumed by a tropical mycophagous marsupial. J. Anim. Ecol. 70: 945-954.

Vernes, K. and Pope, L. C. (2001). Stability of nest range, home range and movement of the Northern Bettong (Bettongia tropica) following moderate-intensity fire in a tropical woodland, north-east Queensland. Wildlife Research. 96:305-309.

Vernes, K. and Pope, L. C. (2006). Capture success and population density of the northern bettong Bettongia tropica in northeastern Queensland. Australian Mammology 28(1): 87-92. [Abstract]

Vernes, Karl, Whitehead, T. and Johnson, P. M. (2023). Northern Bettong, Bettongia tropica, pp. 297-298. In: Baker, Andrew M. and Gynther, Ian C. (eds.). Strahan’s Mammals of Australia (4th ed.). Wahroonga, NSW: Reed New Holland Publishers. 848 pp.

Wakefield, N. A. 1967. Some taxonomic revision in the Australian marsupial genus Bettongia (Macropodidae), with description of a new species. Victorian Naturalist 84: 8-22.

Winter, J.W (1992). Population assessment of the northern brush-tailed bettong on the Mt Windsor Tableland, north eastern Queensland. Report to the Conservation Strategy Branch of the Department of the Environment.

Winter, J.W (1997). Distribution of the northern Bettong, Bettongia tropica, in north-eastern Australia. Report to the Worldwide Wildlife Fund for Nature Australia.

Winter, J. W. and Johnson, P. M. (1995). Northern Bettong, Bettongia tropica, pp. 294-295. In: Strahan, Ronald (ed.). The Mammals of Australia. Chatswood, N.S.W.: Reed Books. 756 pp.

Winter, J. W., Johnson, P. M. and Vernes, K. (2008). Northern Bettong, Bettongia tropica. In: S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan (eds), The mammals of Australia. Third Edition, pp. 293-294. Reed New Holland, Sydney, Australia.

Ziembicki, Mark R. et al. (2015). Stemming the tide: progress towards resolvingthe causes of decline and implementingmanagement responses for the disappearingmammal fauna of northern Australia. THERYA 6(1): 169-225.


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