If you went for an evening walk in the bush over a century ago, before the city of Canberra was founded, what might you have seen? Apart from the kangaroos and possums we’re familiar with today, the woodlands would have been teeming with small animals such as bandicoots, bettongs, quolls, antechinus and native mice. If you look closely, you would also have seen that the ground was full of holes where digging animals like the eastern bettong have been foraging for food, turning over the soil and leaf litter in search of truffles, roots and grubs. Today, Mulligan’s Flat Wildlife Sanctuary in the north of Canberra is the only place on the Australian mainland where you can see an eastern bettong, and for my PhD I’m lucky enough to be studying how these cute little digging machines are changing the ecosystem since their reintroduction 3 years ago.

Continue reading “My PhD – Bettongs as ecosystem engineers”