26 September 2023

DELWP helps bandicoots make comeback

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A bandicoot recovery program has found early success following trap and release activities last week which revealed the endangered species’ numbers had greatly improved.

Senior Biodiversity Officer at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Richard Hill said the monitoring activities in Hamilton Parklands saw DELWP team up with Conservation Volunteers, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks, the University of Melbourne, Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, National Trust of Australia, and Tiverton Property Partners.

Mr Hill said the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, which is extinct in the wild in Victoria, was listed as ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and had been reintroduced into the Parklands in a fenced 100-hectare predator-free site.

He said 120 bandicoot traps were set at 60 sites across the enclosure over three days last week.

“Our recovery team captured 30 individual Eastern Barred Bandicoots, and from this we can estimate that there would be 50 to 80 bandicoots across the Hamilton Parklands,” Mr Hill said.

“This represents a significant increase over the last 12 months, as the population was almost non-existent before 23 bandicoots were released into the enclosure in March last year,” he said.

“By the end of this year, we expect that the size of the bandicoot population will reach the maximum for the enclosure of 100 to 200 animals.”

Mr Hill said the increase would make a strong contribution to the statewide recovery population target of 2,500 animals.

“The bandicoot program at the Hamilton Community Parklands is part of a broader ongoing plan to increase their numbers,” the Senior Biodiversity Officer said.

“Some of the Eastern Barred Bandicoots bred at the Hamilton Parklands will be used to help establish up to three more sites in Victoria over the next three years.”

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