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Brush Tailed Bettongs

Wallabies, kangaroos, Sugar Gliders, Possums, Quolls, etc.

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Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:21 pm

We have a caresheet post but not a discussion post on these so I thought I'd start one. These have always been a dream animal of mine. I worked with wallabies for several years but these guys are smaller and more hearty since they are omnivores. I thought they were an impossibility but I saw one for sale recently. I wanted to jump on that young tame male but I realized I wasn't ready. So I want to get ready. Then maybe in the next year or two maybe I could get one depending on what I learn and if I get a male anteater this year or not. So while paca have been moved to the back burner these guys have been moved from the dream land of the fridge back onto the stove ;)

Here's the care info from the other thread


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Bettong starts at 4:00 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrr8rVcOEGc

Warning you might want to stop watching before the end as they show the tick, ew http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRgxoFsiSvk

Same fella, with some care info, getting his bottle then grooming himself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ioz_UJrs3E

A breeder http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ag26i07LMDU
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Thu Jan 23, 2014 8:49 pm

Well I could have had a bettong joey tomorrow if I had wanted but I got an email at the same time from F&W and bettong are illegal due to not being listed. I am 100% positive they used to be listed as non-controlled. I think they must have gotten left off the list inadvertently when it was updated(if it was intentional they' have listed them as prohibited). A facility here has them and were told they didn't need any special permit but they got them before the last update which verifies I'm not crazy and they used to be okay.

My only options are the prohibited species permit, not really feasible right now, or petition to get them listed again.

Darn it, I could have one if I weren't so thorough about checking the laws.

Maybe I just need to move to WA.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby KingObeat » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:51 am

Cute. Looks kinda like a miniature wallaby.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Jan 24, 2014 1:16 am

Yeah they basically are. They are in the same suborder as wallabies(Macropodiformes) but they got split to a different genus as they do have a different diet than wallabies and kangaroos which is where the issue lies the new list shows the wallaby genus(Macropodidae) as legal so could have a kangaroo if I wanted but since Bettong are in a different genus(Potoroidae) and not listed can't have them. Probably due to an over site and the people in charge didn't know they aren't true macropods either, so not legal due to a technicality.

So frustrated. I literally could go pick up a baby tomorrow if not for finding this out.

The head of the Invasive department is out till the end of the month but will wait and see if he verifies for sure on the change but it's kind of a feeble hope there but hey maybe he will say the state considers them the same genus, I can dream for now anyway.

It looks like it might not be too hard to petition to have them listed as non-controlled. I've herd the prohibited permit isn't as hard to get as it used to be but either way I have some red tape in the way but petitioning seems like it could be the easier option but not sure on speed.

To make up for my rambling here's a random joey(actually a Tamnanian Bettong)
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Jan 27, 2014 7:57 pm

Looking at some info in case I need to write this petition. I think if I do need to the odds are very in my favor. It would just be faster if the director can look and finds they ere classified before and just left off the list by accident and sticks them back on as he has that power but wont hear back from him till the end of the month at earliest as he's out of the office.

Anyway this is a interesting read.
http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/s ... stribution

It covers a lot of good information and I can even use a lot of the points from it in the petition, like the fact predation by fox, cats, snakes and eagles made reintroduction in some areas fail. We have all those things here(not all the same species though) plus a foreign though somewhat similar environment which would make their survival if accidentally set free extremely unlikely.

But there's some good info that can be used to better their captive care as well, like their digging small holes and liking to cache food which could be used for enrichment ideas.

This would also be handy though most of it is redacted from the preview so will need to be bought
http://books.google.com/books?id=qGfpme ... &q&f=false
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby Ash » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:52 pm

I really hope everything works out for you. I think it's such a shame you weren't able to bring home a bettong sooner. Laws really get in the way; sometimes it seems it would be less trouble owning an animal illegally than having to jump through all the hoops, but you gotta do what you gotta do for the animal's best interest.

If your petition goes through, will you still have a chance to own one? Or did the breeder/owner sell the ones they had already?
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:45 am

Thank you. I'll still get the chance. I've been in contact with a couple breeders. The first was out of state and would put me on her waiting list with only a couple people a head of me. They have one baby at a time but prolific pairs like hers can have up to 3 a year so the wait wouldn't be too long, maybe a year or so if more people don't jump in line before I can get firmly on the list. After talking to her I looked at the list just because I always recheck everything and wanted to be able to show her the listing, not because I had any real doubt they were listed and saw they weren't. So I wrote F&W and the breeder in state at the same time(she hadn't answered a previous email where I said I was interested so my contacting the other breeder, maybe she just missed it). I thought I might hear from one before the other.

I got their emails back at literally the same time one from the breeder saying they were legal and she had been told they were non-controlled when she first got hers and they had a freshly pulled joey and I could come get him if I wanted him the other from F&W saying they are not classified so they cannot be owned. Torture. Yeah if I were a bit more selfish and ignored the F&W person I could have one now and probably never get caught but the small chance I could isn't really a gamble worth taking. Also I guess if the in state breeder had replied to my first inquiry I'd have gotten one without ever checking as I was sure they were listed and was just looking at the list to check for the out of state breeder. So he wasn't reserved but I'm sure if she doesn't find a home I could still have him but that will depend on how fast she finds a home and how fast they get the classification sorted. It still possible even missing him that she could have one available sooner than the out of state breeder as I think she may have more breeders.

I've talked to someone going through the petition process with a bit more risky species and got pointers. It should not be too hard. With a low risk species, I just need to write the petition which is a report highlighting all the reasons they are not an invasion risk as well as including any reason they may be. Being low risk the director can just decide and class them without needing to go through the committee. If there is more than one medium threat from the list of points it would need to go through committee and take longer. I find only one medium threat in that they do live in temperate rain forest which we have here but Australian temperate rain forests are still vastly different from here so I'm not sure that will even count as medium. I just write the report and the director will decide. I'm pretty confident there will be no reason not to list them as non-controlled. I can only see it as going to committee if he is being contrary just to be difficult for some reason.

I wrote him and asked though that when he gets back into the office to please check if they were in fact classified on an older list. If they were they should simple be put back on as they already went through the classification process and people that were allowed to get them when non-controlled are NOT grandfathered in. The grandfathering only goes back to the date of the very first list because anything not listed is treated as prohibited. I didn't say it all like that though but asked him to check the old list as I thought they were listed and that others had been told they were non-controlled before and asked if he does find that they were classed before but left off the list if he can just re-list them or if I need to petition for them anyway.

I'm waiting to actually start writing till I hear back. It will actually be kind of fun to write the report in a workish sort of way but it will take some time to write and gather all the citations so I don't want too till I know I have too.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby Ash » Wed Jan 29, 2014 4:57 pm

Let us know when you hear back from him. I'm anxious to know what he says. Also, when you write the report, I'd love to read it to see exactly how you go about it. I'm wanting to try to do something similar here in Utah, so it would be a good help.

When I went to the committee here in Utah for my variance a few years ago, it was such a pain. I thought I was super prepared, but I really didn't expect some of the questions they asked. They asked about invasive potential, insurance, public sanitation methods, how I'd prevent him from breeding with native wildlife (what? :roll: ). Seeing what topics you cover in your report would be super helpful.

Here in Utah they say fennecs are potentially invasive. That's something I'd like to gather info on and dispute since I'd like to breed them, and they would make me neuter/spay any that came into the state if they did grant a variance. Last time I politely corrected them though on one of their incorrect "fox facts" they were rather rude about it.

The bettongs are cute. It would be ideal if you didn't have to submit a report and they could just switch them over to the legal list.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:56 pm

He wrote and said he looked at the past lists and didn't see them as classified. Which is odd since people were told they were but I don't have any of the old lists myself and I don't want to inadvertently get anyone in trouble so I'm not going to press it. I'll just have to write the petition. I will share when it's done.

They do have the points I need to cover conveniently outlined in the law

(a) Whether the species' natural range and habitat is similar to Oregon's climate and habitat;
(b) Whether the species has an invasive history;
(c) Whether the species can survive in Oregon;
(d) Whether the species has the potential to prey upon native wildlife;
(e) Whether the species can potentially degredate the habitat of native wildlife;
(f) Whether the species has the potential to pass disease or parasites to native wildlife;
(g) Whether the species has the potential to compete for food, water, shelter, or space with native wildlife; and
(h) Whether the species has the potential to hybridize with native wildlife;
(i) Whether the species can be readily distinguished from a native species, or a prohibited or controlled species.

I still think the only real point against them is habitat but it's more a climate similarity than habitat as they live in temperate rainforest and Oregon has a lot of that but our temperate rainforest is nothing like Australian rainforest but I'll need to show that in writing and with citations. So each of those points will be several paragraphs except maybe the potential to hybridize part that's an obvious no and wont take much writing to show that. We only have one marsupial native(Virginia possum) and the difference there would be like trying to mate a monkey and a dog. I thought they also asked for evidence they aren't harmful to people or their enterprises or something like that but it's not on this list. I'll cover that too though just in case. I mean they wont decimate crops if lose or chew anyone's arm off ;)

Oh and I did ask the one out of state breeder for a letter on her experience with them to submit with it and she said yes so that should help too I think.

If I went for the prohibited permit then it would be more like you went through as I'd have to prove how I will care for them and prevent escapes and protect the public, and all that fun stuff plus most likely be inspected(but it's not a requirement they do but they can and probably would).
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:40 pm

This is about the whole genus but is awesome info and even goes into anatomy along with diet and pretty much everything
http://www.environment.gov.au/system/fi ... 30-ind.pdf
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:24 am

This is cool. If only more farming could be done in a symbiotic way with the native wildlife. http://www.foodforest.com.au/fact-sheet ... s/bettongs

The fact the bettongs drove off the rats could be a down mark on my petition on could they compete with native animals here, but knowing they simply can't survive our native predators almost voids that. They only out competed the rats when predation was removed.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:12 pm

Here's what I have so far though it's not even a rough draft. You can see what I'm going for. I still have tons more work to do.

It was kind of hard no to work on it today too but I will try to mostly work weekends as I need to work for money too. I actually took today off from real work too though cuz of a headache, perk of being self employed.

(now removed since not done)

Google doc kind of messed it up as it degraded the quality of the graphics terribly but still it's a convenient way to share. I'm going to remove it later.

Edit: one thing I know needs changed of what's already there is to explain they only eat sprouted seeds when they do eat them. They collect seeds then bury them then come eat them later once they have sprouted.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby Ash » Tue Feb 04, 2014 2:02 am

Wow, I read the whole thing and it looks really good so far. Based on the information you've provided, I can't see why they wouldn't just list them as non-controlled, unless, as you mentioned, they decide to be difficult about it. All the data you provided is very interesting, and really strengthens your case.

They seem very unique. I loved reading about their mannerisms and habits.

When you get yours, do you know how you'll keep it? I assume it will be indoors since they won't do well outside and they're small animals. I saw in one of the pictures that they were kept in a big box, and I'm assuming the walls of the box weren't high enough for them to jump over.
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:16 am

Thank you. It's a lot of work but kind of fun for me too.It was hard to make myself not work on it today. I enjoy researching especially if it's a subject I like. I was focusing on the environment part first as it's the hardest but I took breaks from that to work on some of the easier stuff too so got more done that way. I figured I needed to cover the different ranges of Oregon as if I didn't then I can't really show well if it could survive anywhere here. I thought the high desert was going to be the biggest risk of invasion since it being a similar environment but the cold winters made it not. Were getting teens here tonight even in the valley so when I do the valley temps will be a plus on my side once more. It looks like the coast may be a bit more of a sticking point since the temperature does not fluctuate so much though it is still cooler and much wetter than their climate but the predator factor is still a huge deterrent to survival for them and I can focus a bit more on that there. and the rain and humidity will put them at more risk of disease since they are made for dry climates.

I just found this which is interesting. http://www.aaee.org.au/docs/WAbugs/cs1.pdf
Oh which reminds me to add desert truffles to the high desert part as a food source. It's not easy to find info on most underground fungi since people never see it, unless it's a truffle then people seek it out but it didn't occur to me at first that there even were desert truffles but there are.

Also when I do more on them in their natural environment I can cover how beneficial they are. Their saliva and the fact they bury the seeds to sprout actually helps plants grown and the spores don't die so their poop actually help the fungi to grow and it was shown it grows better from their poop than normally. So if my some miracle they did establish they could likely be beneficial rather than damaging.

Yeah I'll keep him inside. Hopefully he'll be a pouch addict and I can take him with me a lot. When we had wallabies the supper old grandma still liked pouches and one time she climbed into a pouch and curled up on top of one of her great grand children, lol. Normally they always love it. I could do a bit more exhibiting with him that way. In captivity they are mostly active at dawn and dusk rather than being nocturnal but that may be induced by man made feeding schedules so would at the minimum give him out of cage exercise time around dawn and dusk. Will probably make it at least 4x6 anyway but Iim sure he'll want to actually really bound around some.

I might use plexi glass or a cheaper plastic as cage walls as it would be nice and slick or some really smooth wood could work too, don't want him running into the walls so maybe not clear. http://www.amazon.com/Cast-Acrylic-Shee ... 0072JZ62E/
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Re: Brush Tailed Bettongs

Postby TamanduaGirl » Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:41 pm

Image

I got a ton more done tonight.

Let's see I still have diseases
competing with native animals
if they can survive in oregon(that was realy covered in the enviornment section but I can recap)
potential to prey on native wildlife
potential to hurt the local enviirnment

Most are easy but diseases will be a bit more work.

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