Aug. 25 - Australia's threatened long-nosed potoroo may be making a comeback in southeast Queensland thanks to a collaboration between government and private land-owners. The shy marsupial has been the victim of habitat destruction through land clearing but efforts by farmers are producing signs of recovery. Tara Cleary reports.
The nocturnal, long-nosed potoroo is about the size of a possum and has strong back legs like its cousin, the kangaroo. But its numbers are dwindling. SOUNDBITE: LAUREN CLARK, CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY SAYING (English): "We're destroying the soils where they get all their food from and we're destroying the ground cover that they need to protect them from predators." Now locals like Mark and Tracy Finnegan have partnered with government to preserve the potoroo by re-establishing bushland on their properties. Motion detecting cameras show the plan may be working. SOUNDBITE: TRACY FINNEGAN, PROPERTY OWNER SAYING (English): "The potoroo just happened to wander randomly past one of the cameras that we had set up here on the top of the hill." Though the potoroo wasn't the only animal caught on-camera. One of it's main threats was also recorded in the same spot. SOUNDBITE: TRACY FINNEGAN, PROPERTY OWNER SAYING (English): "We actually caught a fox on the same camera that we caught the potoroo on the same night which was kind of ironic." Nonetheless, these sightings give conservationists hope that the potoroos' numbers are strengthening and that similar public/private partnerships can help other species as well.