The Southern Brown Bandicoot
Although populations still exist in the Koo Wee Rup, Bayles, Cardinia, Lang Lang and the Garfield/Bunyip areas, numbers of Southern Brown Bandicoots are generally declining.
This decline in population is due to:
- land clearing for agriculture and housing
- predation by feral and domestic animals (foxes, cats, dogs)
- disruption of movement corridors
- isolation from other bandicoots.
Trial bandicoot crossings installed
- 7 trial bandicoot crossings were installed in 2021 as part of the project to seal Boundary Drain Road and Main Drain Road in Koo Wee Rup.
- The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne delivered the project in partnership with Council.
- The underground crossings are built under the road to help the bandicoots cross safely. The crossings aim to reduce road deaths of this nationally endangered species.
- As you can see, there is already evidence that the crossings are being used for this purpose - this photo below was taken in February 2022!
- The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne will be conducting follow-up studies to monitor how well the crossings are working. If they are being used by bandicoots, these crossings will become the new standard across the state.
Our strategic management plan
A Southern Brown Bandicoot Strategic Management Plan 2009 has been developed to ensure the long term viability of the species and its habitat in the former Koo Wee Rup Swamp area.
The plan was produced by Ecology Australia, on behalf of Council, City of Casey and Melbourne Water. Input was also recieved from a technical advisory group consisting of the three bodies, and other management agencies, such as the Department of Sustainability and Environment, the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, Cardinia Environment Coalition, and the Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation, and various community groups.
The best habitat for Southern Brown Bandicoots is dense understory vegetation, such as small shrubs and long grass. This provides protection from predators, especially if plants are prickly.
Weeds such as blackberry, logs and woody debris also provide shelter and nesting sites. Weed control and site clean-up should therefore be done in stages, so there is always protective cover available while waiting for newly revegetated plants to establish.
Linear strips of vegetation (both native and exotic weeds) along drains, waterways, roads, rail reserves and private property are vital in connecting fragmented patches of habitat.
What can you do?
- practice responsible pet ownership, including desexing pets and keeping cats indoors.
- gradually remove weeds from your property, and replace with indigenous plants. Go to our indigenous plant guide.
- protect and increase remnant vegetation on your property.
- build a Southern brown bandicoot hide (house).
How to build a bandicoot hide
Southern Brown bandicoots will take any opportunity to find somewhere to live. If natural habitat is scarce, creating artificial habitat can give bandicoots a safe place to live and raise young. The following bandicoot shelters can be constructed easily.
- Bandicoot shelters must be constructed from untreated pine planks fastened into a rectangular frame with a partition in the middle to form two chambers.
- Overall measurement of frame is 2m wide x 1m across.
- A sheet of corrugated tin slightly larger than the wooden frame is screwed onto a smaller sheet of ply to provide a roof. Protect sharp edges with a rubber hose.
- Attach the roof to the frame with hinges to allow access for inspections.
- Cut an entrance hole around 10cm in diameter into the base at each end of the frame, one leading into each chamber
- If possible, place shelter among suitable vegetative cover or near linear strips such as drains that provide connectivity between habitats.
- Once in position, secure shelter to the ground with short star pickets bolted to the inside of the frame in each corner.