Reviews of nest predation call for the identification of nest predators. The identity of nest predators is perhaps most poorly known for ground-nesting birds. Marsupials are not generally regarded as potential nest-predators of these birds, partly because the biology of rare Australian marsupials is not fully understood due to their rarity. This study identified three marsupials – boodie (Bettongia lesueur), woylie (Bettongia penicillata) and brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) – taking eggs from artificial nests modelled on that of the threatened painted button-quail (Turnix varius). Approximately one-third of the eggs were taken by the two bettongs and another third by the brushtail possum. I present dietary evidence of bettongs consuming vertebrate items including taking live prey to provide external validation for the notion that they may depredate natural nests. I suggest that more research is required on the impacts of reintroductions to avoid deleterious effects on resident species.
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Vol. 65 • No. 3