The endangered macropod is a small nocturnal kangaroo weighing just two pounds and thought to number only about 750 in the wild.
Taravale Station is one of a few locations throughout North Queensland where this species remains. This 30,000 hectare property was purchased by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy in 2003 to protect its diverse ecosystems and species.
The preferred habitat of the Northern Bettong is tall and medium open eucalypt forest with grassy understorey (Harrington & Sanderson 1994; Maxwell et al. 1996). These habitat types occur as a narrow fragmented strip along the western edge of wet tropical rainforests. The species has been reported to occasionally use wetter forest types including rainforest (Maxwell et al. 1996), but these are probably due to occasional forays by individuals into this habitat from adjacent eucalypt woodlands (Dennis 2001).
Northern Bettongs prefer ridges rather than gullies (Vernes 2003). Northern Bettongs show no clear association with soil type and are found in forests growing on basalt, granite, metamorphic, and alluvial derived soils (Laurance 1996; D. Storch pers. comm. 1998, cited in Dennis 2001; Winter 1997). The species prefers eucalypt woodland with sparse ground cover, and areas with many tree stems (Vernes 2003). Northern Bettong habitat consists of a cline (gradual change) of eucalypt forest types from very tall and wet Eucalyptus grandis dominated forests through tall E. resinifera-Syncarpia glomulifera dominated forests to medium height and drier E. citriodora or E. platyphylla dominated forests. Protection and management of Northern Bettong habitat will assist the protection of ecological communities of conservation concern, such as Rosegum forest, Red Mahogany forest and Pink Bloodwood woodland (Sattler & Williams 1999). Some of these forests have the highest arboreal mammal diversity in Australia and contain many endemic and dependant species (Dennis 2001).
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