Have you seen a Gilbert's Potoroo?

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Only 100 known Gilbert's Potoroos remain

Gilbert's Potoroo is the smallest member of the kangaroo family

Gilbert's Potoroo is dark brown and about the same size as a rabbit.

A Gilbert's Potoroo can easily be confused with a Quenda (or Bandicoot), however:

  • The fur of the Gilbert's Potoroo is soft and the fur of the Quenda looks coarse and  feels harsh.
  • Gilbert's Potoroo tails are almost as long as their bodies. Quenda tails are much shorter than their bodies.
  • Gilbert's Potoroos move like kangaroos – on all fours but moving both hindlegs together when moving slowly and hopping like a kangaroo when disturbed. Quendas always move on all fours, bounding when disturbed.

A Gilbert's Potoroo could also be confused with a Quokka however:

  • A Gilbert's Potoroo is much smaller (up to 1.2kg) than a Quokka (up to 4.5kg).
  • The feet of the Gilbert's Potoroo are slender and covered in short fur while the feet of the quokka are more robust with longer fur.
  • A Gilbert's Potoroo has a long slender face, whereas a Quokka has a short broad face.

A Gilbert's Potoroo could also be confused with a Woylie however:

  • Woylies can be larger (up to 1.85kg) compared to Gilbert's Potoroos (up to 1.2kg) and have yellowish grey to reddish brown fur whereas Gilbert's Potoroo fur is a darker grey-brown.
  • The tail of a Woylie has a distinctive brush or crest of black hair near the tip which is not present in Gilbert's Potoroo.
  • The current known ranges of Gilbert's Potoroo and the Woylie do not overlap. Woylies occur in the wild only in the Upper Warren, Batalling and at Dryandra Nature Reserve whereas Gilbert's Potoroo only occurs on the south coast. Since both species are Critically Endangered, however, any potential sighting of either species is of interest.
The above text and drawings are modified from a 1976 article entitled “Our diminishing heritage - Potoroos” published in the then Department of Fisheries and Wildlife’s S.W.A.N.S Journal Vol 6 Issue 1 pg 12-13 and are used with permission. The original article can be found at

Additional information about Woylies sourced from the Woylie Fauna Profile which can be found at