Gilbert’s Potoroo is one of Australia’s most endangered mammals. It was long thought to be extinct until it was rediscovered by chance in 1994 in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, Western Australia.
Gilbert’s Potoroo is mycophagous, which means its diet is almost entirely made up of truffles and other fungi. When digging to find truffles, potoroos turn over the soil, aerating it and allowing water and nutrients to accumulate in the resulting holes. As a consequence, potoroos are considered important ‘ecosystem engineers’ in the Australian environment.
Distribution: south-western Western Australia
Conservation status: Critically Endangered
Evolutionary distinctiveness: Low