Eastern Barred Bandicoots

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is a small, ‘rabbit sized’, terrestrial marsupial. It is approximately 300 mm in length (body) with a 110 mm long tail. On average, Eastern Barred Bandicoots weigh approximately 800 g, but individuals may weigh up to 1100 g. The fur is grey-brown to buff above, somewhat paler on the sides and pale grey to white below, with three or four pale bars on the hindquarters (giving rise to the common name).

Zoos Victoria coordinates the captive breeding program for Eastern Barred Bandicoots and plays a key role in the recovery of this species through:

  • Supplementing reintroduced wild populations through captive breeding for reintroduction
  • Maintaining an insurance population in captivity
  • Conducting research to improve breeding and reintroduction success
  • Increasing community awareness and support for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot

A 3.7 ha soft-release enclosure (i.e. a large protected, predator-proof enclosure containing natural habitat) at Werribee Open Range Zoo enables Zoo visitors to connect with Eastern Barred Bandicoots and their basalt plains environment.

If you are interested in hearing the latest about the species follow this link to the most recent newsletter Warron   http://www1.zoo.org.au/eastern-barred-bandicoot

Some of you may remember visiting the National Trust property near Skipton called Mooramong. Mooramong’ is a 1500 ha farming property. Within the property is a 200 ha nature reserve (130 ha of wetlands, and 70 ha of grassland). There are stock-proof fences but no electrified predator control fences.

Between 1992 and 1995, eighty five bandicoots were released into the reserve. The population declined in the late 1990s, possibly due to severe drought conditions. Fewer than ten animals were known to be alive at Mooramong in March 2009. An extensive predator control program is maintained at the property.

Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve, located 50 km west of Ballarat, is 870 ha in area, most of which is a shallow temporary lake which fills in years of high rainfall. The reserve includes 150 ha of unfenced grassland vegetation. Fifty bandicoots were released here between 1994 and 1998. The population declined again most likely as a result of the drought. The last bandicoot caught at Lake Goldsmith was in 2005.This population is now considered extinct.

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot (mainland subspecies) is listed as endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Victorian conservation status The Eastern Barred Bandicoot (mainland subspecies) is listed as threatened under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

A copy of the Action Statement may be found at http://www.dse.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/103143/004__Eastern_Barred_Bandicoot_2009.pdf

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