A project to better understand the survival of one of Victoria’s most threatened marsupials following last summer’s devastating bushfires has commenced in north east Victoria.

One hundred and twenty motion-sensor cameras have been installed across State Forests and National Parks in the Ovens valley to detect and monitor Long-footed Potoroos as part of the Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery program.

Long-footed Potoroos are an endangered species and only found in parts of north east Victoria and far east Gippsland. The decline in their population can be attributed to bushfires, climate change and predation by foxes, wild dogs and feral cats.

DELWP Hume Natural Environment Programs Officer, Elizabeth Wemyss said: “We’ve installed cameras out in the bush at sites near Dandongadale, Abbeyard, Mount Howitt and Harrietville to determine the species’ ability to survive the widespread and intense bushfires.”

“To entice the endangered marsupial, bait stations filled with a mixture of peanut butter, golden syrup, oats and truffle oil have been placed near the cameras.

“The cameras use heat-sensing technology that trigger an infra-red ‘flash’ when movement is detected around the bait station – capturing images of the rarely seen species. The cameras will be stationed at these sites for the next 21 days.

“Once the images are collected, the data will be used to help us better understand the impacts that fire has on Long-footed Potoroos so we can take important steps to ensure their survival,” Ms Wemyss said.

Staff from DELWP and Taungurung Land and Waters Corporation are involved in the monitoring program.

The Long-footed Potoroo project forms part of the Victorian Government’s Bushfire Biodiversity Response and Recovery program which supports on-ground action to help species impacted by last summer’s devastating bushfires.

All activity complied with public health measures, prioritising the safety of the Victorian community, our staff and contractors.

Page last updated: 17/11/20