Adult long-nosed potoroos can weigh up to 1.6 kg and have a head and body length of about 360 mm and a tail length between 200 – 260 mm. Its fur is greyish-brown above and light grey below. The upper body is brown to grey with a paler underbody and a long nose that tapers with a small patch of skin extending from the snout to the nose. The length of the feet is shorter than the head length. The animal tends to have a 4-legged pottering motion, but when startled, hops like all other kangaroos. It has life expectancy of around 5 to 6 years in wild.
Long-nosed Potoroos utilise a wide variety of habitats including coastal heaths and dry and wet sclerophyll forests. Dense understorey is essential for cover; eucalypt forests are important because potoroos rely on fungi associated with these trees.
The long-nosed potoroo are now only found in in isolated populations along the coastal Victoria, New South Wales and up into south-eastern Queensland. The geographical separation of the populations is major threat to the ongoing survival of the species.
Diet and Behaviour
Potoroos are mainly nocturnal, resting during day in nests made of leaves under dense cover. They use a range of microhabitats for different behaviours such as feeding and sheltering. Long-nosed Potoroos are solitary, except in captivity or when females have young. They are not territorial. They eat many types of roots, tubers, fruits, seeds, insects and larvae, all depending on seasonal availability. They often dig small holes in the ground in a similar way to bandicoots.
Long-nosed Potoroos become sexually mature at around 12 months of age and give birth to a single young after a gestation period of 38 days. Young stay in the pouch for between 120- 130 days. After leaving the pouch the young remain near the mother, and still feed for about 40 days (weaned at 170 days). They breed once or twice a year depending on climate and habitat conditions.
- Habitat loss and fragmentation from land clearing for residential and agricultural development.
- Predation from foxes, wild dogs and cats.
- Too frequent fires or grazing by stock that reduce the density and floristic diversity of understorey vegetation.
- Logging or other disturbances that reduce the availability and abundance food resource
FAME has supported populations of Long-nosed Potoroos in protected areas of South Australia and Victoria since 2000 and the Southern Ark Project in Victoria.