IUCN threat status:

Endangered (EN)

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Biology

The long-footed potoroo is a shy, mostly nocturnal species that spends the day sleeping in a simple nest scraped in the ground in a sheltered location (4). Underground, fruiting fungi ordinarily form 90 percent of the diet during most of the year, although fruits and other plant material, as well as some litter and soils-dwelling invertebrates are also eaten (2). All of the underground fruiting fungi that the long-footed potoroo eats share a special symbiotic relationship with the trees of the forest, termed a mycorrhiza. Within this relationship, the fungus lives on the roots of the host plant, supplying nutrients and helping the plant to resist disease. In return, the fungus received energy, in the form of carbohydrates, from the plant. Long-footed potoroos play a vital role in dispersing the spores of the underground fruiting fungi, the spores of which travel intact through the digestive tract of the animal and are returned to the forest in faecal pellets. In doing so, the long-footed potoroo plays an essential role in keeping the forest healthy (4) (6). Breeding takes place throughout the year. Females produce a single young after a gestation period of around 38 days (2). In captivity, the young stays in the mother's pouch for 140 to 150 days and reaches sexual maturity at two years of age (2).

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Source: ARKive

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