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

PDF icon Download a comprehensive overview of what Zoos Victoria is doing to save the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (431 KB)

PDF icon  DSE (2009) Action Statement No. 4 - Eastern Barred Bandicoot (mainland subspecies) Peremeles gunnii (unnamed subspecies).  Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria.

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.

DSEWPC (2010). Perameles gunnii unnamed subsp. in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra.

P. gunnii
unnamed subspecies
Extinct In The Wild
Found in 
Three protected reintroduction sites in Victorian Grasslands

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Adopt Eastern Barred Bandicoot

Once widespread, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot was brought back from the brink of extinction by the Zoo. You can help our project for captive breeding, re-introduction and predator control by adopting the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

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