Red-Tailed Phascogales (Phascogale)
The red-tailed phascogale is a small squirrel-like marsupial that feeds on insects. It is nocturnal and forages in low canopies of shrubs or small trees and will often descend to the ground to cross from tree to tree. It is Endangered at the national level - it formerly had a wide range across inland Australia but now only survives in the southern wheatbelt of Western Australia. Phascogale are preyed on by both feral and domestic cats. They often come into buildings to either nest or feed.
Phascogale have a very bizarre life history - all the males die at 11 and a half months of age at the end of their first mating season. The persistence of the species then depends on the females successfully raising their litters. The female may raise as many as eight young in a single litter.
The female Phascogale have very demanding nesting requirements. She needs a hollow tree with a large internal space so she can build her nest - usually made up of a large ball of grass, leaves, feathers or wool. The hollow should preferably have a small entrance hole to exclude large parrots or other hollow-nesting birds who also might want to use the hollow. The small entrance is also necessary to exclude pythons and goannas who prey on phascogale and their young. Natural hollows are typically in old-growth eucalypts (evident as holes, spouts or in dead broken trees (known as stags)). There are many parts of the wheatbelt where such natural hollows are hard to come by. This is particularly so in the Hyden district.
Where to find it
The Phascogale formerly had a wide range across inland Australia but now only survives in the southern wheatbelt of Western Australia
When to find it
Phascogale are nocturnal so you will find them at night time.