Have you seen a Bandicoot in your backyard? They’re in our backyard, too!

While you might spot a bandicoot digging tiny holes in your backyard, they are found all along the coastline, particularly where there is native grass and low shrubs to give them protection from predators.

Council’s Natural Resource Management (NRM) Officer has been busy with motion sensor cameras in the local area capturing animals going about their business. The cameras are triggered by movement, which then record a short video. Plus, they are able to film at night which is when most native animals are at their busiest.

When an animal is captured on the camera, especially if it’s a threatened species such as the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, the data captured is submitted to the Natural Values Atlas as a sighting. This data drives the rating system in Council’s Natural Resource Management Plan, which helps us make informed decisions about how to best manage our local natural areas.

There are two species of Bandicoot in Tasmania, and both are found in the Central Coast area and more active after dark. Bandicoots are about the size of a small rabbit and have a distinct long nose – perfect for digging.

The difference between the two Tasmanian species is:

  • The Southern Brown Bandicoot – solid, dark brown body.
  • Eastern Barred Bandicoot – presence of dark bars across the rump of the animal.

How can you help?

Threats Helpful Actions
Domestic and feral cats roaming freely to hunt, especially at night Keep domestic cats inside, desex, and put a bell on your cat’s collar so animals have time to react.
Domestic dogs chasing bandicoots through vegetation. Always walk dogs on-leash in areas where it is not otherwise stated.
Clearing of vegetation – especially native grasses and low, prickly shrubs surrounding open grassy areas. Turn your space into an Urban Refuge with grasses and prickly shrubs that bandicoots can safely hide and sleep in.
Vehicles driving quickly, especially after dark – bandicoots are sadly usually recorded as roadkill, especially in urban areas. Drive slowly at night and always keep a watch on the roadside for any animals that may run out in fright.

 

As part of the Greening Central Coast Strategy 2021, Central Coast Council are aspiring for 30% canopy cover by 2030 across the municipality. Increasing canopy cover helps the bandicoots and it also helps the community by improving air quality, providing shade from the hot sun, and absorbing carbon from the atmosphere. Trees have also been linked to improved mental and physical health for individuals in the community.

If you want more information on how to help our local bandicoots or to help Council increase canopy cover by requesting a nature strip tree for your property, please get in touch with us.