Phillip Island - Saving Eastern Barred Bandicoots
The mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoot (EBB) is extinct in the wild as a result of predation by foxes and the loss of almost all of its native habitat. They live a solitary, secretive life foraging in open grasslands at night and resting in a shallow, cryptic nest during the day, usually in areas containing trees or shrubs. They are difficult to spot and the only sign of their presence is their small foraging digs. In Victoria the EBB Recovery Team has built three reserves on the mainland surrounded by fox-proof fences, totaling 800 ha. These reserves are the only places in Victoria where EBBs can now be found. Fox-free islands provide the best long-term opportunity to save this species from extinction.
Eastern Barred Bandicoots (EBBs) were released on Churchill Island in 2015 by Phillip Island Nature Parks, Zoos Victoria and members of the EBB Recovery Team as a trial for future releases onto other fox-free islands. The EBBs on Churchill Island increased from 20 to about 120 in two years before the population stopped growing and stabilised around this number. The Churchill Island trial has demonstrated that EBBs can successfully establish in island environments and have positive impacts such as reduced soil compaction, and improved nutrient and water infiltration, with no observed negative effects.
Phillip Island Nature Parks is planning a release of Eastern Barred Bandicoots onto the Summerland Peninsula on Phillip Island in late October, with support from the EBB Recovery Team. We have scheduled a series of Information Sessions for members of the Phillip Island and Bass Coast community and other interested community members to learn about Eastern Barred Bandicoots and the planned release.
Community Info Sessions:
Download the Eastern Barred Bandicoots Q & A Nature Notes here
Download the Eastern Barred Bandicoots Phillip Island Release brochure here
Phillip Island Nature Parks acknowledges the generous funding support provided by the Helen Macpherson Smith Trust for the EBB program, and from the Ian Potter Foundation and Penguin Foundation for the Fox Eradication Program.
The EBB Recovery Team includes representatives from (in alphabetical order): Conservation Volunteers Australia, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, National Trust of Australia, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks, the University of Melbourne, Tiverton Property Partnering and Zoos Victoria.