Park Rangers encouraged by Bandicoot sightings
Thursday 11 March, 2021
Sightings of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot have provided further encouragement for Park Rangers about the health of native animal habitat in the Grampians (Gariwerd) National Park.
The small species of bandicoot, listed as Endangered in Victoria, was detected on surveillance cameras that were placed in the national park following reports from a member of the public.
It’s the first recorded sighting by Park Rangers in two years and follows recent camera footage that confirmed an increase in the park’s small population of Brush-tailed Rock-wallabies, which are listed as Critically Endangered.
As with other animals in the area, it appears that bandicoots may be benefiting from a combination of recent factors including rainfall levels, a lack of large-scale bushfires and Parks Victoria’s conservation work, such as the Grampians Ark program.
The Grampians Ark program targets foxes and feral cats, which can have a devastating impact on birds and small mammals, such as bandicoots. The program is being funded by the Victorian Government’s $33.67 million Biodiversity Response Planning and Weeds and Pests on Public Land initiative.
The Southern Brown Bandicoot is a ground-dwelling marsupial with a grey-brown coat and a long tapering snout. Mostly active after dusk, they play an important role in the ecosystem by turning over soil which helps increase the rate of leaf litter decomposition and nutrient cycling. Excepting the Grampians region, the bandicoot is typically found in southern and lower lying parts of Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Derek Sandow–Grampians Ark Coordinator, Parks Victoria:
“These sightings are really encouraging news for this native animal that faces threats from cleared habitat and introduced predator species.”
“Reports of koalas and goannas and other animals not seen for some time in the Grampians give us encouragement about the health of the national park and our conservation efforts.”