Common mammals of south-east Queensland

Whiptail Wallaby Long-nosed Bandicoot Echidna Koala

South-east Queensland is home to a remarkable 36 percent of Queensland’s monotreme and marsupial fauna.

Almost all of the species not found principally in either the arid Queensland interior (19 species) or the tropical north (27) can be found in or around greater Brisbane (29).

No one marsupial is endemic to the Brisbane area. Some, such as the Common Brushtail Possum, Common Ringtail Possum and Northern Brown Bandicoot, take the urban sprawl in their stride, and the Squirrel Glider, while considered rare to endangered elsewhere in Australia, is found nowhere else in such prolific numbers as in Brisbane. Others, however, like the Koala, Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Brush-tailed Phascogale and Rufous Bettong only just survive, being totally dependent on what little remains of tall, mature eucalypt forest.

There is little doubt that the cream of Brisbane's wildlife is being skimmed off to the limits of both the city's boundaries and the animals' tolerance of interference. In this light it is difficult to interpret both the recent extraordinary records of Spotted-tailed Quolls found dead on highways close to Greenbank Army Reserve, and the regular sightings of Agile and golden Swamp Wallabies from the Pimpama-Coomera coast to the Nerang State Forest. While these records raise new hopes for the persistence of endangered species on our doorstep, the reality behind the events might be a grim, confused marsupial response to continued interference and loss of habitat.

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