Eastern Barred Bandicoot
The mainland subspecies of Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, is now considered extinct in the wild. They are listed as endangered federally.
Bandicoots were once widespread across grasslands and grassy woodlands of western Victoria and South Australia. By 1991, the subspecies was on the brink of extinction, primarily due to habitat loss and predation by introduced foxes and cats.
A captive breeding program was established using Eastern Barred Bandicoots from the last known population at Hamilton. Since then, a coordinated Recovery Program has focused on captive breeding, habitat management and predator control. There are currently three small reintroduced populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
Zoos Victoria coordinates the captive breeding program and so plays a key role in the recovery of this species through:
- Supplementing reintroduced wild populations through captive breeding for reintroduction
- Maintaining an insurance population in captivity
- Conducting research to improve breeding and reintroduction success
- Increasing community awareness and support for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot
A 3.7 hectare soft-release enclosure (i.e. a large protected, predator-proof enclosure containing natural habitat) at Werribee Open Range Zoo enables Zoo visitors to connect with Eastern Barred Bandicoots and their basalt plains environment.
Plans and publications
Hill, R., Winnard, A. and Watson, M. 2010. National Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (mainland) Perameles gunnii unnamed subspecies. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Melbourne.
- Zoos Victoria's captive breeding program has saved this mainland bandicoot from extinction
- The Kirrae Whurrong people from the western district of Victoria call the Eastern Barred Bandicoot 'Warron'
- Eastern Barred Bandicoots have one of the shortest gestation periods of any mammal, females are pregnant for just 12.5 days