Tracking Potoroos, where the wild things roam

News > Our Patron and Board

Our resident Long-nosed Potoroos continue to dazzle and enthrall the local community of the Otways through video conferences and special ‘locals’ visits during lockdown. However, there is still much we do not know about the Long-nosed Potoroo in the Otway Ranges.

Indeed, Potoroos are such a secretive species that even basic questions such as how large a Potoroo’s home range is or how far Potoroos move each night remain unanswered

So, our ecologists are fitting Potoroos with GPS collars to substantially advance our understanding of Potoroo ecology in both the Otway Ranges and their wider distribution elsewhere in Australia.

With generous financial support from The Hermon Slade Foundation, our ecologists have spent much of the past few months finding as many Potoroos as possible, fitting them with tiny, highly advanced GPS-collars, and releasing them back into the bush.

While attached, these collars collect detailed data on where Potoroos are via frequent communication with nearby GPS satellites. These advanced collars allow the collection high quality movement data more frequently and for a much longer time than other technologies have allowed in the past.

We don’t get the data in real time, but once we retrieve the collars CEC Ecologists can see exactly where the Potoroos have roamed, what kind of habitat they preferred and how far they moved each night.

Gaining a deeper understanding of how these animals move will enable us to make sure the management of wild Potoroos and their habitat is targeted, effective and at the appropriate scale, ensuring this wonderful species continues to persist despite the many threats they face daily.

With your support we could continue to build upon this work with the purchase of more GPS collars, which would allow us to track more Potoroos in more places across the Otways.

You can make your tax-deductible donation here and specify in the notes that you wish the donation to go towards this program.

We look forward to sharing our results with you soon.

(Image: Wild Potoroo being released after GPS collar attachment. Credit: Sam Girvan)