Southern Brown Bandicoot

The southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) is easily distinguished from the eastern barred bandicoot as its fur is a relatively uniform, grizzled, dark brown and rather coarse to touch. Its muzzle, ears and hindfeet are shorter than those of the eastern barred bandicoot, and its tail is dark brown in colour.

Breeding and habitat

Breeding occurs from winter through to the end of summer. Gestation, as in the barred bandicoot is a mere 12 days. Litter size, as in the barred bandicoot, is 1-4, with old females usually producing the larger litters. Three or litters may be reared each year. Longevity is no more than three years.

The species is widespread but prefers areas with low ground cover.Such habitat is often maintained through regular burning. During the day it rests on the ground in a nest of grasses and leaf litter.

Behaviour

Nocturnal and solitary, the diet consists of insects and their larvae, underground fungi, worms, lizards and berries. When foraging, it digs characeristic conical holes with its well-clawed front feet.

In Tasmania, the brown bandicoot is relatively common in suitable habitat and its status appears to be secure. It is wholly protected. It is endangered on mainland Australia, largely due to predation by the introduced fox. The status of the species in Tasmania would certainly alter if the fox became established in this State.

Further Information

"There's a bandicoot in my backyard" provides infomation on the species, from the Department of Environment and Heritage, South Australia.
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