Bandicoots thrive under protection program
A population of long-nosed bandicoots has been spotted a long way from home near Nyora in Gippsland, leaving researchers scratching their heads.
The surprising discovery has been an unexpected benefit of Park Victoria’s Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program, which is running in partnership with the Department of Transport.
While monitoring the southern brown bandicoot, cameras spotted their long-nosed cousins in the Lang Lang Education Area, which has been set up to protect the endangered species from predators like foxes and feral cats.
Long-nosed bandicoots are thought to play an integral role in forest health through their foraging which spreads spores of native fungi and accelerates plant material decomposition, which improves soil quality.
Parks Victoria ranger team leader Brian Martin said he looked forward to discovering more about the habits of the long-nosed bandicoot which is in decline across Victoria and New South Wales.
“This population at Lang Lang is unusual as it is quite far from its known distribution,” Martin said.
“The closest recent records of the species are Cranbourne, Walkerville and Allambee.”
“Hopefully future monitoring events will reveal more about this mysterious population.”
Set to run until 2024, the Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program forms part of the environmental approval requirements of the Peninsula Link project.