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There are two types of Phascogales found in Australia
the Red Tailed Phascogale and the Brush Tailed Phascogale



Also sometimes called the Brush-tailed Marsupial Mouse or the Red-tailed Wambenger, Its scientific Name is Phascogale calura The red-tailed phascogale lives in trees (arboreal) and moves around mainly at night (nocturnal) Though it is a great leaper and climber in trees, it forages for food mainly on the ground

click for info on pic DESCRIPTION
They are a lightweight marsupial (35 to 70 grams) and in length are around 100mm (body +head) with a tail around 140mm long The red-tailed phascogale have ashy grey fur, with a cream to white underbelly Their name obviously comes from the red coloured upper half off their tail whilst the lower half has some black hairs but not as bushy as the Brush tailed phascogale

LOCATION & HABITAT
Only found in small populations in south western Australia,
location of red-tailed it lives in trees, normally hollow-forming eucalyptus species such as wandoo which it uses for shelter .. It seems that most places where the red-tailed phascogale is found have not been burned for 20 years so there is a good number of large hollow trees providing potential nest sites and plenty of dense foliage for protection and foraging. .

NESTING
The red-tailed phascogale live in hollow tree trunks (often Wandoo and Eucalypt) which provide nests which they line with grass and feathers, in small communal nesting groups, which they shelter in during the day.

REPRODUCTION
click for info on pic Sexual maturity is reached at about twelve months. Mating takes place in May and June and shortly after mating all males die (the reason for death is thought to be that the males put so much into breeding that their immune systems fail and they succumb to stress-related illnesses and die) Female red-tailed phascogales can live for 2-3 years The Gestation Period is roughly 28 to 30 days. There are 3 to 8 young per litter, and 1 litter per year The young are weaned within 3 months and leave the nest by the end of summer (March, April)

FEEDING
Though an agile climber red-tailed phascogale finds most of its food - small vertebrates, (birds & mammals & mice) and larger arthropods (insects & spiders) - on the ground. It does not drink because it gets all its moisture from its food.

DECLINE
There are 3 main reasons why the red-tailed phascogale has declined
1) Habitat loss and breaking up of its forests (Bush) from clearing for agriculture
2) Predation by foxes and cats
3) Fires that clear out their habitat as their nest sites are in highly flammable vegetation (grass-trees, rock-oaks, Eucalypt)





click for more info about pic In Victoria they are knows as Tuan while in Western Australia they are also called Common Wambengers The Brush-tailed Phascogale scientific name is Phascogale tapoataf a "nocturnal, arboreal, carnivorous marsupial of the Family Dasyuridae" Like the red-tailed phascogale the Brush-tailed Phascogale is very agile in trees though its brush-tipped tail is not used for clinging to branches (prehensile) They are a very solitary living animal

DESCRIPTION
Their fur is a bluish deep grey with pale cream underneath and large ears with no fur on them. They are bigger than the red-tailed phascogale sometimes being over 400mm total length (Head, body & tail) and weigh around 230 grams for males and 150 grams for females

location of brush tailed LOCATION & HABITAT
In Victoria the brush-tailed phascogale or Tuan is found in Box -Ironbark forests. Elsewhere their distribution is patchy across Australia (see map)

FEEDING
Brush-tailed Phascogales being arboreal (tree dwellers) they eat insects, spiders, ants, beetles, centipedes even cockroaches, mainly found on trunks and branches of rough-barked trees and fallen logs, usually during the night. Eucalypt nectar sometimes is also eaten

brush Tailed Phascogale NESTING
Its nesting habitats are similar to the red-tailed Phascogale, nesting by day in a leaf-lined nest in a tree-hole

BREEDING
The brush tailed phascogale reproduction cycle is similar to the red tailed phascogale The brush tailed phascogale becomes sexually mature at the age of one and mating occurs around June One month later 3 to 8 young are born which then attach themselves to the 8 available teats The mother carries them around for about six weeks. She cares for them by herself as the male dies soon after breeding The Juveniles remain in the nest until summer time

DECLINE
In Victoria the decline of the Tuan (the Brush-tailed Phascogale) has been due to the following factors
1) Loss of habitat due to - Farming - Gold mining - Forestry industries - Urban growth
2) Competition for tree hollows from other animals such as Sugar Gliders and Bees
3) Predation by introduced species (Cats and Foxes)
4) Predation by indigenous species (Goannas & Powerful Owls)
5) Roadkills
6) The death of males after breeding
7) Bush Fires clearing out suitable habitats


LINKS ..... Perth Zoo on Brush Tailed Phascogales

................................................. Animal Info - Red Tailed Phascogale

................................................. Dept of Enviroment and Conservation PDF file on brush tailed

................................................. Dept of Enviroment and Conservation PDF file on red tailed




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