You may recognise Andy from our catchment signs, but do you actually know that Southern Brown Bandicoots, like Andy are endangered? In fact, they are the only species of bandicoot still naturally occurring in South Australia.
The Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus) is a marsupial that was once widespread throughout southern Australia, but as its native habitat has been removed, it is now only found in small populations in areas where suitable habitat is available.
Bandicoots are predominantly nocturnal, so you’re not likely to see them often, but you may notice the small conical holes they dig in the soil in search of invertebrates and fungi.
We are fortunate in the 6th Creek catchment to have much of our native vegetation remaining and this in turn supports a small population of bandicoots. Recent sightings in the Cherryville and Norton Summit area are promising, but to ensure these cute little creatures do not become extinct, there are some things you can do to support their population.
- Stage your weed control. Bandicoots aren’t that fussy when it comes to choosing vegetation to shelter under. They frequently utilise thickets of weeds such as blackberry and gorse. This means that you should remove weeds gradually, allowing native species to regenerate and replace the cover that the weeds were providing.
- Control feral animals (eg. foxes) on your property and encourage your neighbours to do the same. Contact your local NRM District Officer for assistance.
- Be a responsible pet owner and keep your cats and dogs inside at night or keep dogs tied up.
- If fallen logs and branches aren’t proving a fire risk, why not leave them for the bandicoots to forage amongst and shelter in!
- Maintain any native bushland on your property before tackling large weed infestations. It is much better to conserve high quality native vegetation and habitats, and encourage natural regeneration than trying to recreate it through weed control & revegetation.