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Helping Conserve Kangaroo Island’s Southern Brown Bandicoot

Blog Post - Helping Conserve Kangaroo Island’s Southern Brown Bandicoot

A project to conserve the nocturnal and secretive southern brown bandicoot on Kangaroo Island in South Australia has successfully collected data that will improve fire management and conservation activities to protect the remaining bandicoot population on the island.

The FNPW funded project involved tracking bandicoots and signs of their presence through surveys and cameras, collecting new data, uploading all existing data onto a publicly available database and engaging the local community in reporting bandicoot sightings.

The southern brown bandicoot once lived throughout Australia but in South Australia, it is now only found on Kangaroo Island and in 2 areas on the mainland. Kangaroo Island is an important refuge for the endangered species as there are no foxes, however feral cats are a threat to the bandicoot and other small native animals on the island.

Bandicoot surveys and reported sightings on the island over the past 20 years suggested a serious decline in numbers and this project was proposed to establish the status and distribution information that is critical in forming a successful conservation plan to protect the species and their habitat.

The project was well supported by the local community who volunteered for project activities and helped promote the importance of biodiversity , habitat conservation and understanding the needs of native animals to locals and visitors. Field days, seminars and a school talk all helped raise awareness of the project.

Camera traps recorded bandicoots at 14 different locations and also a surprise photo – an endangered Kangaroo Island dunnart which was an unexpected sighting for such an elusive species.

This successful project had established the status of the southern brown bandicoot on Kangaroo Island, provided much-needed information on location and habitat and has contributed significantly to future fire and land management decisions. There has been ongoing community interest in habitat conservation and sightings of southern brown bandicoots are still being reported.

 

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