A Marsupial Tale (tail?)

A Marsupial Tale (tail?)

While running down a private road off Nullaki Drive a few weeks ago, I picked up the object in the attached photos. There was only one thing I thought it could be, and I sent the photos out to 4 ecologists who all came back with the same ID confirming my suspicion: it’s the tip of the tail of a brush-tailed phascogale! (link to previous article on NCI website: https://nullakiconservation.org/2018/09/17/whos-that-up-in-the-tree/). Obviously the poor little guy is dead, but the news is still good.

Well, not for him. But phascogales on the Nullaki is a big deal!

In 2018 we put up 3 phascogale nesting boxes in a karri forest on Lot 122 Nullaki Drive. They have been checked periodically, but to date we have not found any evidence of use by phascogales. We did retrieve some scat (poo) from the nesting boxes, and sent it out for expert opinion, but it was identified as probably belonging to mardos, which we did recover from that area in our second fauna survey. The area where the tail was just found is covered in bullich and banksia, with some yate. Not classical phascogale habitat, but there was at least one there. Early in the New Year, we will make up some nesting boxes and put them up in the new location, and monitor them for at least two breeding cycles. Even though they are not considered a threatened species, every native mammal we can demonstrate on the peninsula adds to our goal of supporting and enhancing biodiversity, and it gets noticed by funding agencies!

 

Photo courtesy Greg Harewood