Gilbert's Potoroo (Potorous gilbertii) was named after the man who originally found the species in 1840; John Gilbert. There are currently no wild members of this species. Gilbert's potoroo can only be found in Two People's Bay Nature Reserve near Albany in the south of Western Australia.
In 1994 a Gilbert's potoroo was discovered at the Two People's Nature Reserve after not being seen in over one hundred years. This species is classified as 'ENDANGERED". Due to the recent rediscovery of the Gilbert's potoroo, there is little information available on this species. The main habitat requirement appears to be dense vegetation for shelter and open vegetation nearby to locate food. The potoroos appear to be solitary and able to function during both day and night. A nest is built of various plant materials where there is suitable shelter from vegetation.
The average head and body measurement of a Gilbert's potoroo is roughly 280mm (about 11 ins) with an average tail measurement of 220mm (about 8 ins). 850gms (1.874 lbs) seems to be the average weight of a potoroo. The fur is a rusty colour with grey hairs dispersed throughout. The underbelly is white and the head is grey. It has short, round ears with some pink coloration on the inside. The tail is coloured similarly to the rest of the body. The front paws are curled under.
This small marsupial is teetering on the brink of extinction and its numbers are so low that a chance event such as a bushfire or a drought could push the species into extinction. It is estimated there are only 30 to 40 animals in the only known 'wild' population, with an additional 40 to 50 animals in two translocated conservation colonies. This limited population means that critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo is Australia's rarest mammal. The Potoroo Action Group is fighting to keep this little creature safe.
If anyone should be interested then Google Gilbert's Potoroo and you will find information about the recovery plan established to hopefully keep this animal alive and well.
We have been to Two People's Bay when we've holidayed in Albany and it is the most beautiful place. No, we didn't see a potoroo but would have been delighted had we done so.