Five facts about bandicoots
Photo credit: John O'Neill (creative commons)
There are many beautiful and adorable creatures living in the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges region, some we see more often than others.
One that might be a bit harder to spot (although definitely still very adorable) is the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus).
Because we don’t see them often, we might not know as much about them as some of the more common animals – so here’s a few interesting facts about our loveable bandicoots:
- They’re omnivorous – studies have found them to eat everything from spiders and slaters to fungi and fruits! One of their favourites is the Pink Ground-berry (Acrotriche fasciculiflora).
- They make nests! These are built with leaf litter and soil and sometimes feature a hollow nesting chamber. But sometimes they even take shelter in rabbit burrows.
- They’re also known by the Indigenous names Bung and Marti (by the local Kaurna indigenous people). Records from before 1993 suggest that the Southern Brown Bandicoot lived in Ngarrindjeri, Kaurna and Peramangk Nations.
- These cuties are known to be aggressive amongst themselves and often end up with shortened or scarred tails or behinds as a result – who would have known?
- South Australia used to have seven species of bandicoots but now we only have the Southern Brown Bandicoot. There are a number of threats to bandicoots, including foxes and cats. If you want to make sure you’re doing the most to protect your local wildlife (and your cat at the same time), you might like to check out our information on responsible cat ownership.
And one thing you may (or may not) already know: a superhighway (a nature-only highway) is being built to connect the bandicoots in Belair National Park and Mark Oliphant Reserve.
You can read all about it in our eNews, and make sure you subscribe to eNews so you don’t miss out on anything else!
And if you want to read more about bandicoots or see where we found this information, check out the species profile.