Bettong baby joy in NSW wilderness

A baby bettong has been spotted in a protected NSW habitat after dozens of the native marsupials were reintroduced to the state's wilderness.

The discovery of the youngster, which has been named Bella, has been hailed as an exciting and vital step in "turning back the tide of extinctions".

Bella was found after the reintroduction last year of 55 bettongs to the Pilliga State Conservation Area, west of Narrabri in the North West Plains region.

The animals were raised in Western Australia and rehomed in a collaboration between the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

Of the 22 female bettongs released, 17 were carrying joeys in their pouches.

The discovery of little Bella outside the pouch is a sign the species is adapted to its new home, conservancy ecologist Vicki Stokes said.

"It was exciting to capture Bella, our first fully weaned brush-tailed bettong," Dr Stokes said.

"We have camera images of females with very heavy pouches and have been busy tracking them since their release, so knew they were doing well."

Ecologists had been concerned after severe weather and flooding in the habitat last year, but Dr Stokes said the predator fence had remained secure.

The brush-tailed bettong is one of six bettong species, two of which are extinct.

Bettongs are nocturnal and omnivorous, spending a lot of their night-time foraging for food. They specialise in hunting for truffles but mostly eat tubers, fruit, seeds and insects.

Feral cats and foxes drove the catastrophic decline in native bettongs in Australia, wildlife service head Atticus Fleming said.

"Once found across much of mainland Australia, (bettongs have) now disappeared from 99 per cent of its former range," he said.

"The arrival of Bella is a sign that the new bettong population is on track to reclaim its former home in the Pilliga.

"It is another huge step in turning back the tide of extinctions in NSW - great news for bettongs and for the Pilliga forest."