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Rare Species Almost Goes Extinct - Saved By A Miracle

Imagine a kangaroo in mouse form. That’s what a bettong looks like. The adorable little creatures used to roam free in Austria’s capital of Canberra, according to Little Things.

However, their populations and native homes have been depleted by predators like foxes, cats and humans over the years. Since then, the short-snouted marsupials are now considered to be extinct.

Ecologist Dr. Kate Grarock set out to make this wrong right again with her team from Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary. They’ve raised more than 300 bettongs in the last few years and are reintroducing them back into their natural habitat in small groups.

“Bettongs are amazing creatures, and it is so wonderful to have them back on mainland Australia,” Grarock told Little Things. “The introduction of foxes and cats to Australia has taken a huge toll on many of our small animals. Our native animals never had a chance to evolve a strategy to cope with such fearsome predators.”

Grarock says that bettongs love to eat truffles and go off to find them at night. They also help to boost their surrounding ecosystem.

“Research in our sanctuary discovered that each individual bettong does over 200 digs a night,” Grarock said. “This process is great for the health of the environment. They spread truffle spores in their droppings. The truffle spores have a symbiotic relationship with tree roots, allowing the trees to absorb more nutrients and grow bigger and stronger.”

Source: Little Things
Photo: Twitter/@GreeningAust

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