Eastern Barred Bandicoots are a nocturnal insectivorous mammal that once flourished in southwestern Victoria's native grasslands and woodlands. At night, Eastern Barred Bandicoots emerge from nests built in dense tussock grasses and scrub to forage for insects by digging many conical-shaped holes into the ground.
They can turn over up to 13kg of soil each night! This behaviour makes them excellent 'ecosystem engineers' which means they play an important role in maintaining the soil structure of their habitats, helping to create healthy and functioning ecosystems. However, Eastern Barred Bandicoots are currently classified as extinct in the wild on mainland Australia as a result of predation by foxes and the loss of almost all of its native habitat from human activities.
Fox-free islands, such as Phillip Island, provide the best long-term opportunity to save this special species from extinction by boosting wild populations. Bandicoot guardians help the Penguin Foundation fund important conservation work carried out by Phillip Island Nature Parks, project partners and volunteers to ensure the survival of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
Did you know?
Eastern Barred Bandicoots can dig up 13kg of soil in one night!
What your money helps fund
A Safe Island Haven
Phillip Island is completely fox-free, which provides a haven safe from introduced predators for Eastern Barred Bandicoots. However, they still remain vulnerable to human activities such as introduced predators and habitat disturbance.
Phillip Island Nature Parks works hard to provide a sanctuary for Eastern Barred Bandicoots; protecting them through predator control programs, habitat restoration and management, education programs and rehabilitation through the wildlife clinic.
Research and Monitoring
Phillip Island Nature Parks conducts regular monitoring activities of Phillip Island's Eastern Barred Bandicoot populations, to ensure their health and the health of their ecosystem is maintained.
Did you know?
Marsupials are known for their short gestations (pregnancies) and Eastern Barred Bandicoots are record-holders with the shortest gestation of any mammal at just 12.5 days.