Backyard Buddies

Factsheets for Mammals

Australian Fur Seal

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Photo credit: Hans Hillewaert

Australian Fur Seal

It would be pretty alarming to wake up to find a fur seal in your backyard, but they are our ocean buddies. The Australian fur seal is the most common seal in Tasmanian waters: however, it is the fourth rarest seal species in the world. They live around Bass Strait, Tasmania, southern Victoria and southern South Australia but can venture as far north as NSW. They spend most of their time in the sea and come ashore to breed on rocky islan..

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Bandicoot

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Photo credit: Michael Todd

Bandicoot

All bandicoots are mainly active at night but you can see them in the evening and morning. During the heat of the day, they take refuge in their nests. There are around 20 different types of bandicoots. Most of them are only found in Australia but a couple live in Papua New Guinea. The three buddies that you’re most likely to see in your backyard are the Long-nosed Bandicoot, the Southern-brown Bandicoot and the Northern-brown Bandicoot..

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Flying Fox

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Photo credit: WIRES

Flying Fox

Flying-foxes, also known as Bats, Fruit Bats or Megabats, mainly live in forests in coastal areas of northern and eastern Australia. Four species of Flying-fox live in Australia: the Grey-headed Flying-fox, the Little Red Flying-fox, the Black Flying-fox and the Spectacled Flying-fox. Flying-foxes sleep during the day in ‘camps’ of up to tens of thousands of individuals. They hang upside down to sleep, but have to turn up the other way t..

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Koala

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Photo credit: Alyson Boyer

Koala

Koalas might look like a bear and have the nickname 'Koala bear', but they are marsupials. The closest living relative to the Koala is the wombat. Newborn Koalas are so little they could fit on your thumbnail. Koala joeys stay in their mothers’ pouch for about seven months. Koalas are perfectly built for climbing trees. They have rough paw pads with sharp claws which help them grip tree trunks and branches. Koalas live in euc..

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Microbat

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Photo credit: Doug Beckers

Microbat

Microbats use their tail or wings to catch large insects which they carry to their favourite feeding site - look for piles of insect "bits" on the ground. Microbats see with their ears rather than their eyes. They produce a sound and "listen" for it as it bounces back from surrounding objects. The time the sound takes to travel back to them tells the bat how close the object is. Females may fly hundreds of kilometres to special matern..

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Platypus

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Photo credit: Matt Chan

Platypus

The Platypus is brown in colour and quite small. An adult Platypus can be from 45 cm up to 60 cm in length and can weigh up to 2.7 kg. Male Platypuses have a poisonous spur on the inside of their hind legs. The spur contains a poison that the Platypus uses to defend his territory from other males and enemies. Platypuses dig two burrows; a nesting and a resting burrow. Burrows can be up to 20 m long. Burrows can be hard to find as the ..

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Possums

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Photo credit: Ken Stepnell/OEH

Possums

Possums live in the trees and occasionally come down to the ground to look for food. Brushtail Possums live in tree hollows and Ringtail Possums in the south of Australia build a nest out of sticks. Both kinds of possum may live in our roof if they can’t find suitable homes in trees. Possums live in territories and mark the boundaries with smells. They rub the scent from glands under their chin, chest and base of tail against trees so eve..

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