HabiChat: a podcast about Australia’s animals and ecosystems

Welcome to HabiChat, a podcast miniseries exploring ecosystems and the animals which live in them. Join Cosmos journalists as they talk to experts about the who’s who, and where’s where, of mammals in Australia.

Episode 1: Kultarr

In this episode, Cosmos journalists Matthew Ward Agius and Jacinta Bowler talk to Cameron Dodd, a PhD student at the University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum, about the kultarr.

They discuss the arid environments these little-known mammals live in, the difficulties of studying such tiny, fast, and aggressive predators in the wild, a gruesome story from out in the field in the Simpson Desert, and more.

A kultarr sits on red desert soil
Kultarr, Alice Springs Desert Park, NT. Credit: Mark Marathon (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Episode 2: Southern greater glider

In episode 2, Cosmos journalists Imma Perfetto and Matthew Ward Agius talk to Dr Kita Ashman, a threatened species and climate adaptation ecologist for WWF Australia.

Kita speaks about wet forest and temperate rainforest environments and the organisms that call them home, including one very special mammal that can silently glide distances of up to 100 metres – the southern greater glider.

Australian mammal of the year 2022 a black greater glider holding onto a tree branch
Greater Glider. Credit: Josh Bowell.

Episode 3: Brush-tailed bettong

Cosmos journalists Jacinta Bowler and Matthew Ward Agius talk to Natasha Harrison, a conservation biologist and behavioural ecologist in her final PhD year at the University of Western Australia.

They join her in a woodland soundscape and talk about the furry little t-rex of the mammal world – the brush-tailed bettong – and the threats facing them.

A small rat-like marsupial stands on a road
A woylie, or brush-tailed bettong. Credit: Natasha Harrison

All three mammals highlighted are competing in 2023’s Australian Mammal of the Year competition, you can still vote for them here.

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