Joy over rare phascogale find in Wellstead area

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A brush-tailed phascogale.
Camera IconA brush-tailed phascogale. Credit: Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Cor

The presence of the vulnerable brush-tailed phascogale in Wellstead has been confirmed after a drowned carcass was found in a creek.

A “flash sighting” of the marsupial was reported about 18 months ago by a truck driver who spotted “a squirrel-like creature with a fluffy tail” running across a road in the Wellstead area.

The carcass was found three weeks ago in a creek west of Cape Riche.

It is thought the animal had been caught in the winter floodwaters.

A drowned south western brush-tailed phascogale found in Wellstead.
Camera IconA drowned south western brush-tailed phascogale found in Wellstead. Credit: Supplied

For Sylvia Leighton from Wilyun Pools Farm, the discovery provides hard evidence the species has moved eastward and is now resident in the coastal reserves near Wellstead.

“The Wellstead Historical and Heritage Society, along with the local community, have monitored fauna species in Wellstead for the last 50 years,” she said.

“Never have they recorded the phascogale before so it is exciting to have a new native mammal on the list as a local resident for the district.

“Hopefully, the population will increase in size over the next decade and more people will get to see this distinctive, handsome, resilient marsupial.”

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