Mammals play an important role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. You may be surprised to know what mammals call Whiteman Park home.
The mammal species recorded at Whiteman Park are primarily nocturnal animals, whose diversity has been bolstered since a translocation program commenced in 2010. Of the species of native mammals recorded prior to this program, three are considered rare or near threatened on the Swan Coastal Plain – the quenda or southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus), the rakali or native water rat (Hydromys chrysogaster) and the kwoora or black-gloved wallaby (Macropus irma).
The Park’s most endangered mammals are those found within Woodland Reserve, including the critically endagered woylie, or brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi). Along with the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii derbianus), these mammals have benefited from a successful translocation program into the protected sanctuary that is Woodland Reserve.
Other mammal species recorded in the Park include three microbat species and the noodji (Psyeudomys albocinereus).
Learn about our more common species below.
The most commonly sighted mammal in the Park grasslands are the yonga or Western grey kangaroo (Macropus fulinginosus), with hundreds of roos roaming the Park grounds.
Kangaroos thrive in the Park’s paddocks and grasslands, but are less commonly sighted in the natural bushland where water sources are more limited.
Joeys can often be spotted hopping with their mothers, or peeking from a warm pouch, providing overseas and local visitors alike with a special wildlife experience! Kangaroos can be frequently spotted in the picnic areas of the Park in the cool early mornings and at dusk when they emerge to feed.
As kangaroos are crepuscular, meaning they are most active at dawn and dusk, it is important to drive with care in and around the Park near these times.
Despite its rare (or ‘Prirotiy 4’) status within Western Australia, the quenda is one of the more common mammals species that may be spotted in the Park.
Often mistaken for the common black rat, the native quenda can be distinguished from these pests by their course, shiny hair, long pointy noses, short tails and squat bodies. They can build up some speed with their loping gait too!
Despite technically being nocturnal, these mammals thrive within the protection of Whiteman Park and are often seen amongst wetland vegetation during the day, particularly around and to the north of Mussel Pool. Further out, they are particularly active in the evenings, and care should be taken when driving on Whiteman Drive West at that time.
You can see these cute mammals up close for yourself on one of our Nocturnal Woylie Walks of Woodland Reserve.
The two possum species found in Whiteman Park are the brush-tail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) and the honey possum (Tarsipes rostratus) - although the honey possum is technically not a possum at all!
The true possum, the brush-tail, is found amongst the trees surrounding Mussel Pool, as well as in the northern conservation areas of the Park. Relying on hollows for nesting and protection, you may spot some of the artificial possum boxes up in the trees in these areas. These artificial 'hollows' supplement the short supply of hollows found around the Park, meaning they can all find a suitable home.
Honey possums, on the other hand, will sleep wherever they can find shelter for their tiny bodies! These small marsupials feed on the nectar and pollen of the Park’s five banksia species.
The Park is also home to the short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), one of Australia’s unique sub-class of monotremes, a spiny egg-laying mammal which feeds primarily on ant species.
Spotting an echidna is a special and rare experience, as they are generally only most active in the day within the less accessible woodland areas to the north of the Village. Occasionally they are spotted on a Nocturnal Woylie Walk, as they thrive in the protected habitat of Woodland Reserve.
The short-beaked echidna is also known as ‘ngingarn’ by the local Noongar people.
(Banner) The honey possum or noolbenger, Tarsipes rostratus.
(L-R above) Western grey kangaroo, Macropus fuliginosus; quenda, Isooson obesulus, courtesy of Houndstooth Studio; short-beaked echidna, Tachyglossus aculeatus; rakali, Hydromys chysogaster.