Director of National Parks [logo]

Swamp Wallaby

Mammals in the Gardens

The most common mammals in the Australian National Botanic Gardens are the several species of small insectivorous tree-dwelling bats which may be seen flying at dusk. The smallest of these, the Little Brown Bat, weighs only 3-4 grams and is smaller than some insects; it is, in fact, one of the tiniest bats in the world. By comparison, the Grey-headed Flying-fox is a veritable giant, having a wingspan exceeding a metre and body weight of nearly a kilogram. It occasionally visits the Gardens in summer, in search of the flowers and fruit upon which it feeds.

Claw marks on some of the smooth-barked trees usually indicate the presence of one of the possums, which sleep by day in tree hollows. The Brush-tailed Possum and the Sugar Glider are fairly common. Sugar Gliders feed extensively on insects and the flowers of trees and shrubs, whereas Brush-tails, and the less common Ring-tailed Possums, tend to rely more on leaves for food.

Two macropods can occasionally be seen in the Gardens, although they are not encouraged, coming in through a gate or fence break from the surrounding reserve. The Eastern Grey Kangaroo is easy to see during a walk on the surrounding Black Mountain Reserve at dusk, while the Swamp Wallaby is much shyer, inhabiting the denser vegetation of the gullies.

Two native ground-dwelling mammals occur in the Gardens: the Yellow-footed Marsupial Mouse and the egg-laying Echidna occasionally wander in from adjacent woodland on Black Mountain. Both species are insectivorous

Feral cats and European rabbits and hares are unfortunately fairly common in the Gardens, and black rats and house mice are also present, but not in large numbers. Foxes are also seen occasionally.

Mammals commonly seen in the Gardens

Bats     Chocolate Wattled Bat
Grey-headed Flying-fox Pteropus poliocephalus Illustration
White-striped Freetail-bat Nyctinomus australis  
Lesser Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus geoffroyi Photo
Gould's Long-eared Bat Nyctophilus gouldii Illustration
Gould's Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii  
Chocolate Wattled Bat Chalinolobus morio Illustration, photo, story
Little Forest Bat Vespadelus vulturnus  
Southern Forest Bat Vespadelus regulus  
Marsupials     Common Brushtail Possum
Sugar Glider Petaurus breviceps Illustration
Common Brushtail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula Illustration
Common Ringtail Possum Pseudocheirus peregrlnus Illustration
Yellow-footed Marsupial Mouse Antechinus flavipes  
Eastern Grey Kangaroo Macropus giganteus Illustration
Swamp Wallaby Wallabia bicolor Illustration
Monotreme     Echidna
Echidna Tachyglossus aculeatus Illustration, Photo
Introduced mammals      
Cat Felis catus    
Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus    
Brown Hare Lepus capensis    
Black Rat Rattus rattus    
House Mouse Mus musculus    
European Red Fox Vulpes vulpes    

Written by Chris Tideman for ANBG Guide-book, 1980.
Names updated according to '
The Mammals of Australia', 1995, by R Strahan.

^ top