A candid nightime photograph taken in Morialta Conservation Park has amazed and delighted the local community and wildlife experts.
The photograph of a Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus) in the park is the first confirmed image taken in the past decade, evidence which proves that these endangered marsupials are alive and living there.
Once widespread, the small ground-dwelling marsupial is the last of seven different bandicoot species which once flourished across the state, but are now restricted to just a few tiny pockets in the Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges.
Natural Resources Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges (AMLR) Volunteer Support Officer Steph Cole said that this is an exciting discovery, made possible by the Friends of Black Hill and Morialta.
Other species captured by the camera included the Native Bush Rat, Yellow-footed Antechinus and the regionally endangered Chestnut-rumped Heathwren, also listed as endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Ms Cole said the Friends had given countless hours to protecting and restoring bushland, helping provide a suitable habitat for small mammals.
“The contribution of the Friends group has been invaluable, and we’re proud to support them,” she said.
President of the Friends group Liz Milner said, “We are very pleased to have been able to follow up and confirm a scat sighting of the Southern Brown Bandicoot found during the Morialta Centenary BioBlitz in 2015 with an actual photograph of the species.
“Though we had previously located what appeared to be diggings in a number of locations, we had not had a verified photographic sighting for over 10 years,” she said.
“It has been a great experience putting the camera out and seeing with our own eyes the diversity of fauna residing in the parks.”
Natural Resources AMLR staff assisted the group to identify species and add this information to the Biological Database of South Australia, which provides a valuable resource on plants and animals in the state.
Natural Resources AMLR also supported the group’s work on this project in 2016 with a NRM levy-funded Community NRM Action Grant.