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Woylie
Woylie - (Brush Tailed Bettong)

 The Brush Tailed Bettong or (B.pencillita) is one of four species of Bettongs in Australia. The local comman name is Woylie.

Brush Tail Bettong are a Macropod are to which means great-footed animals.
It is the name given to kangaroos in their relatives, which have powerful hind legs and long feet.  The 2nd and third toes of the Macropod's hindfoot are joined together, like those of the Bandicoot.  All macropods except the Muskey rat kangaroo hop on their higher legs when going at speed.  All female macro they give birth to one young or joey at a time that Musky Rat kangaroo as twins.
There are 48 different kinds of kangaroos found in Australia the other members of this large marsupial family are Rat kangaroos, Potoroos, Bettongs, Wallabies, Pademelon, Quokkas and Tree kangaroos.
There are two main groups of marsupial's-
those with six front teeth in the lower jaw
those with two front teeth in the lower jaw
The kangaroo family belong to the second group because they have two front teeth in their lower jaw. Koalas and possums also belong in this group.  Woylies feed there young on milk a like most other mammals,they are covered in fur and they give birth to live young, Woylies warm-blooded animals. In marsupials the young start developing inside their mother and they finished outside her body usually in her pouch to finish development.

 

Jemilla our female Woylie from CALM's Dryandra property - she has been handraised.

 
 The Woylie is very low in numbers because of predation by feral cats and foxes and land clearing.  Woylies are nocturnal and very efficient tillers of soil. They are soft footed animals and may control of wide spectrum of weeds. What is naturally seek out seeds have fallen from bushes and plants and hop away some distance, they dig a hole and bury them.  After rain the seeds soften and  germinate, this is there favourite food that they don't find all the seeds are buried and these ones grow into new plants. Woylies like bulbs of some of our weed plants like Sour Sobs & Guildford Grass and helping control these problems without chemicals.
The Woylie has joey leaves the pouch at 90 days and leaves mother by 120 days, a quick turnaround in producing young. Controlling ferals means these populations quickly flourish.
 

Distribution map of the Woylie - shaded area is pre-fox

Dark area are known distribution

 

 We can continue to follow the zoos feeding notes offering a choice of fruit, green vegetables, root vegetables, herbivore pellets, mushrooms (Woylies love fungus and underground truffles).
It will be interesting to see the health of the conservation Sanctuary improve over the coming years with the small marsupial range returned to the property.  Our belief is the health of forest will improve as the small marsupial is it did and borrow around the trees transporting healthy fungi and bacteria inoculating the trees as they go.

Please note our link to the Brookman site who have found this to be so on their property in South Australia.
As the Woylies breed very fast they are very good indicators species that we are keeping the feral pests under control and excluded from the Conservation Sanctuary.

Until the perimeter fence is finished and front electronic gate is installed, the Woylies will stay in their large pen.  Guests are welcome to visit the Woylies but they do come out to play until after dark.
A small torch is advisable to view these animals.

 

Woylies at Yelverton Brook

 In October 2004 Yelverton Brook has started to reintroduce Woylies onto the property, in conjunction with Perth Zoo from their successful breeding program they now have one male and two females.  This is a soft release with the three Woylies in the same large covered pen. They have settled in very well and are digging furiously and enjoying life in the southwest of Western Australia.  As soon as our perimeter predator proof fence is completed we will be releasing the Woylies from the 15m by 8m pen into the 100 acre Conservation Sanctuary.

March 2005 - Currently 1 x joey has left it's mothers and another is a wriggly bump in a pouch. Jemilla arrived from CALM's Dyrandra breeding program a hand raised female who is very quite, to help enhance our breeding program. We have now applied for a Reg. 16 licence so we can trade fauna with other sanctuaries.

In July 2005 - then 2 x babies were feeding with adults, 1 x male and 1 x female who is pregnant with a fairly large joey in her pouch. I believe that another joey is in a nest as the mothers pouch has shrunk alot.

 

Woylie baby bred at Yelverton Brook

 In 2007 the last fox was caught after 10mths in late March 2007 and then 2 x feral cats plus an extra feral cat that came through the front electric gate during a winter storm that left the gate open for a short time.

Since early April 2007 the Woylies have been enjoying there freedom to move over the 100acs and just get on with enjoying life and pro-creatring as God intended with no ferals to eat them. Now Owls would be there most feared predator. A beautiful Silver tipped Woylie called Silver arrives most evenings for her nuts and banana chips. Now her daughter is arriving with a small bundle and 2 bandicoots are regually seen at the office/home most late evenings.

So there must be some active boys out there!

Woylies have now been seen fairly regually around Jarrah Chalet and now Sheaok as well. Lots of diggings and holes eveywhere indicates a happly Woylie has been around.

These beautiful small creatures that only stand 10" high can turn over 5 tonnes on dirt in just one year!

We have also seen them eating large flying beetles at the fron door on rare occassions.

  Links   http://www.users.bigpond.com/brookman/BrushTailedBettongs.html#Brush%20Tailed%20Bettongs

  www.kidcyber.com.au/ topics/woylie.htm

members.iinet.net.au/.../ Wildlife_Sanctuary.htm

wwwcomm.murdoch.edu.au/ synergy/9804/woylie.html

 

  members.iinet.net.au/.../ roo_info/bushgang.htm

www.australianwildlife.org/ extinction/rare_th...

 

Callam with Jemilla in the breeding pen

 

Woylies in the breeding pen

(Brushtailed Bettong)

 

Successful breeding program of Woylies at Yelverton Brook, seen near the office. Viewing time is best on dusk.

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