(Other Names: Péramèle Doré, Wintarru)
1. Profile (Picture)
Pictures: Golden Bandicoot (31 Kb JPEG) (O'Connor 2003); Related species - Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) (5 Kb JPEG) (Terrambiente)
The golden bandicoot weighs 260 - 655 g (9.3 - 23.4 oz). It inhabits spinifex and tussock grasslands and was formerly found in
desert and tropical woodland habitats. The golden bandicoot is terrestrial and nocturnal.
It often makes long tunnels through the grass. The golden bandicoot also digs burrows in
sandy soil during hot weather. It constructs a nest concealed in dense vegetation and made
of flattened piles of sticks, leaves and grass, sometimes mixed with earth, with no
obvious entrance. The nests are located on the ground or in a hollow log. The golden
bandicoot is omnivorous, its diet including insects,
small reptiles and roots.
*** On the recommendation of local Aborigines on Marchinbar Island, biologists used
"burnt sugarbag" to trap for radio-tagging the first golden bandicoots caught in
the Northern Territory for over 40 years. ("Sugarbag" is the honey, mixed with
wax and pollen, found in wild beehives inside limbs of trees.) (Stephens 1995)
The golden bandicoot was formerly widespread in arid deserts and adjacent semi-arid areas and woodlands. Its distribution included the Tanami, Gibson, Great Victoria, Great Sandy and Little Sandy Deserts. It also occurred in northern parts of the Northern Territory and Kimberley, Western Australia, and was found on Barrow, Middle, Hermite (Pilbara), and Augustus Islands (Kimberley), off Western Australia. It occurred widely throughout central Australia until the 1930's. By 1983 it was thought to have become extinct in almost all of its mainland range except in the Prince Regent Flora and Fauna Reserve in the northwest Kimberley. It also occurred on Barrow, Middle and Augusta Islands. By 1995 it was known to occur in those locations as well as the Yampi Peninsula in north Kimberley and Marchinbar Island in northeast Arnhem Land, Northern Territory.
Reasons for the decline of the golden bandicoot may include changed fire regimes, exotic predators (especially the European red fox), and competition from rabbits.
Austral. Broad. Corp., Burbidge & McKenzie 1989, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons.
1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN
2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN
2004, Kennedy 1992, Maxwell et al. 1996, Nowak
& Paradiso 1983, O'Connor 2003, Short & Turner 1994,
Stephens 1995, Terrambiente
Last modified: January 5, 2005;