Today is the first day of our Port Arthur field trip and we stayed at the Port Arthur Caravan Park. At dinner, I saw a small rat like animal roaming the camping grounds. I have never seen such an animal before and thus asked the others what it is. It is a Long-nosed Potoroo which has a distinctive white tip at the end of the tail. This is a complete alien to me and I have not even heard of the word "Potoroo". So today I know one more Australian animal.
Potoroos are generally known as rat kangeroos (no wonder) and reach 1.3 kg in weight. The colours range from red-brown on the west coast to grey on the east coast, with paler fur on the belly. A potoroo will live from 2 to 3 years in the wild but can live for up to 7 years. Like most marsupials in Australia, they are nocturnal. They are capable of giving birth throughout the year and there is no specific breeding season.
According to the Parks and Wildlife Services Tasmania website: "gestation period is 38 days, the longest of any macropod despite its relatively small size. Pouch life is 4 months. Young potoroos are weaned at 5-6 months and are sexually mature at about 8-10 months for females and a little later for males. Up to two young per year are produced".
Potoroos are a protected species in Tasmania.