Phascogale seeks letterbox home

Chris Lee went out to his letterbox one day and inside was a cute little mammal with a very fluffy black tail. There were also some chewed letters which the animal had shredded to make some bedding.

Putting aside any angst about the fate of his mail, Chris was delighted to recognise that a Brush-tailed Phascogale had set up home in the box.

Chris photographed a Richmond Birdwing Butterfly in his garden at Booloumba Ck last year, so he is no stranger to rare wildlife visitors. But he has been particularly engaged with the phascogale, even setting up a comfy cardboard box inside his letterbox to help the phascogale settle in.

Phascogales feed on spiders and large insects that they find by tearing bark off eucalypts. They nest in tree hollows and each animal may use up to 20 hollows across their large home range. This means that they need plenty of old trees because most hollows form when eucalypts are over 100 years old.

There are phascogales living in the bush at Curramore on the Blackall Range as well as in the Conondales where Chris lives. Linking the bush between these two areas will join the populations and improve their chances of survival.

 

Brush-tailed Phascogale in letterbox - photo Chris Lee

 

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