Southern Brown Bandicoots
The Southern Brown Bandicoot is a nationally endangered marsupial which lives in the Sturt Catchment. It is the last member of the bandicoot and bilby family that is still naturally occurring in South Australia.
This medium-sized marsupial eats invertebrates, fungi, fruits and other plant material. Southern Brown Bandicoots prefer habitats of dense vegetation up to 1 m high such as banksia, bracken, yakka, hakea, native tussock grasses, hibbertia, blackberry or gorse.
Bandicoots are endangered and have many threats - habitat loss, predation by foxes, dogs and cats, road-kill and being mistaken for rats and baited.
The Bandicoot Monitoring Program
The Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group is working to increase the population of Southern Brown Bandicoots in the Sturt Catchment with habitat restoration and monitoring. We aim to:
- raise public awareness of the conservation needs of bandicoots
- monitor where bandicoots live in the Sturt catchment
- restore habitat for bandicoots and other native fauna
- promote native habitat linkages for wildlife between neighbouring properties
- work with the Bandicoot Recovery Program to improve techniques for habitat restoration.
The Bandicoot Monitoring Program has two main activities:
- Bandicoot Quest for local sightings
- 'Restoring Bandicoot Habitat': revegetation on properties and monitoring bandicoots and their habitat in October/November each year
How can you help?
There are many ways you can help to conserve Southern Brown Bandicoots in your local area:
- Learn more about Southern Brown Bandicoots and their conservation needs from the DEH Threatened Species website: www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/bandicoot
- Restore Bandicoot Habitat on your property
- Register any sightings of bandicoots in the Sturt Catchment to Bandicoot Quest (and other sightings to DEH).
- Be a responsible cat owner by desexing, identifying your cat as a family pet (eg. put your details on their collar); and keeping them indoors. Read 'Cats and Wildlife: How You Can Protect Both’ for more ideas.
- Be a responsible dog owner by keeping your dog on a lead when walking in native bushland and other areas where bandicoots may exist
- Join SURLG or other community groups to help restore bandicoot habitat in the Mount Lofty Ranges
Restoring Bandicoot Habitat
Many of the bushland areas that Southern Brown Bandicoots would have occupied are still being cleared or degraded by weeds in the Mount Lofty Ranges. While bandicoots are known to exist in blackberry and even around vegetable gardens and compost bins, their natural habitat is native vegetation with a dense shrubby understorey. One of the best ways you can help the conservation of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot is by conserving and restoring native vegetation for fauna habitat on your property. You can:
- protect existing native vegetation with weed control
- start with scattered weeds in the best areas of native vegetation and tackle the areas with dense weed last
- adopt a staged approach to all habitat restoration - only remove small patches of dense weeds (especially blackberry), and wait until the native vegetation regenerates sufficiently to provide habitat before removing more weedy areas
- link your bushland to neighbouring areas of native vegetation to help wildlife move from one area to another
- protect existing areas of native vegetation with a Heritage Agreement.
- seek advice and financial support for regeneration and restoration of native vegetation from programs like the Landholder's Assistance Program.
- become a SURLG 'Restoring Bandicoot Habitat' property. We will support you to restore bandicoot habitat, and to monitor bandicoots and other small mammals on your property in response to the habitat restoration you undertake. This monitoring will help us to develop better techniques for habitat restoration in the future.
Email email@example.com to register your property.