Nature conservation

Threatened species

Rufous Bettong - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Aepyprymnus rufescens
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 10 Dec 2020


Rufous Bettongs are small marsupials, 70 to 80 cm long from nose to tail. They have reddish-brown fur, including on the muzzle. They normally move quite slowly by placing the forelegs on the ground and bringing the hindlegs forward together, but can also hop like a kangaroo. When alarmed they stamp their hindfeet on the ground. They are known to use their tails to carry nesting material.


The original range from Coen in north Queensland to central Victoria has been reduced to a patchy distribution from Cooktown, Queensland, to north-eastern NSW as far south as Mt Royal National Park. In NSW it has largely vanished from inland areas but there are sporadic, unconfirmed records from the Pilliga and Torrington districts.

Habitat and ecology

  • Rufous Bettongs inhabit a variety of forests from tall, moist eucalypt forest to open woodland, with a tussock grass understorey. A dense cover of tall native grasses is the preferred shelter.
  • They sleep during the day in cone-shaped nests constructed of grass in a shallow depression at the base of a tussock or fallen log.
  • At night they feed on grasses, herbs, seeds, flowers, roots, tubers, fungi and occasionally insects.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Brigalow Belt SouthLiverpool Plains Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthNorthern Basalts Predicted None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Known None
Brigalow Belt SouthPilliga Outwash Known None
NandewarKaputar Predicted None
NandewarPeel Predicted None
New England TablelandsBinghi Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsEastern Nandewars Predicted None
New England TablelandsEbor Basalts Predicted None
New England TablelandsNortheast Forest Lands Known None
New England TablelandsRound Mountain Predicted None
New England TablelandsSevern River Volcanics Predicted None
New England TablelandsStanthorpe Plateau Known None
New England TablelandsWalcha Plateau Predicted None
New England TablelandsWongwibinda Plateau Known None
NSW North CoastBarrington Known None
NSW North CoastCarrai Plateau Predicted None
NSW North CoastCataract Known None
NSW North CoastChaelundi Known None
NSW North CoastCoffs Coast and Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastComboyne Plateau Predicted None
NSW North CoastDalmorton Known None
NSW North CoastGuy Fawkes Known None
NSW North CoastKaruah Manning Known North of Gloucester
NSW North CoastMacleay Gorges Known None
NSW North CoastMacleay Hastings Known None
NSW North CoastMummel Escarpment Known None
NSW North CoastRocky River Gorge Known None
NSW North CoastTomalla Known None
NSW North CoastUpper Manning Known None
NSW North CoastWashpool Known None
NSW North CoastYuraygir Known None
Other StateQLD Known None
South Eastern QueenslandBurringbar-Conondale Ranges Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Lowlands Known None
South Eastern QueenslandClarence Sandstones Known None
South Eastern QueenslandScenic Rim Known None
South Eastern QueenslandSunshine Coast-Gold Coast Lowlands Predicted None
South Eastern QueenslandWoodenbong Known None