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Animal Info - Western Barred Bandicoot

(Other Names: 袋狸; 紋袋狸, ニシシマバンディクート, Bandicoot de Bougainville, Barred Bandicoot, Little Barred Bandicoot, Long Nosed Bandicoot, Marl, Péramèle à Bandes de L´ouest, Tejón Marsupial Rayado, Westaustralischer Streifenbeuteldachs)

Perameles bougainville (P. fasciata, P. myosura and P. m. notina)

Status: Endangered


Contents

1. Profile (Picture)
2. Tidbits
3. Status and Trends (IUCN Status, Countries Where Currently Found, History of Distribution, Threats and Reasons for Decline)
4. Data on Biology and Ecology (Weight, Habitat, Birth Season, Birth Rate, Diet, Behavior, Social Organization, Density and Range)
5. References


Profile

Pictures: Western Barred Bandicoot #1 (40 Kb JPEG) (Milamba Aust.); Western Barred Bandicoot #2 (43 Kb JPEG)

The Western barred bandicoot weighs 190 - 250 g (6.8 - 8.9 oz). It formerly occurred over much of southern Australia in semi-arid and arid areas with a variety of vegetation types. In its one remaining habitat, on Bernier and Dorre Islands, it is especially abundant in sandhills behind beaches. It is insectivorous and usually obtains its food by digging. It is mainly nocturnal, usually emerging at dusk. One to three young per litter are born, with two being the most common.

The Western barred bandicoot formerly occurred in Australia from Western Australia east through southern South Australia to western New South Wales and northwest Victoria. It was last recorded on the mainland in 1922. As of 1970, since no specimens had been found for many years it was presumed extinct. By 1983, it had been rediscovered on Bernier and Dorre Islands and as of 1996 is only found on those islands.

Reasons for its decline have included predation by introduced foxes and feral cats, competition from livestock and introduced rabbits, habitat clearing and degradation, and changed fire regimes.


Tidbits

*** The Western barred bandicoot has a backwards-opening pouch, possibly to prevent the pouch from becoming soiled when the bandicoot digs the hollow in which it makes its nest.


Status and Trends

IUCN Status:

  • 1960's: Insufficiently Known
  • 1980's: Rare
  • 1994: Endangered
  • 1996 - 2004: Endangered (Criteria: B1+3a) (Population Trend: Decreasing) (IUCN 2004)

Countries Where the Western Barred Bandicoot Is Currently Found:

2004: Occurs in Australia. (IUCN 2004)

History of Distribution:

The Western barred bandicoot formerly occurred in Australia from near Onslow in Western Australia south to near Perth and east through southern South Australia to western New South Wales and northwest Victoria, as well as Bernier and Dorre Islands in Shark Bay, Western Australia. It had disappeared in New South Wales by the 1860's, and it was last recorded on the mainland in Western Australia in 1909 at Onslow and in South Australia at Ooldea in 1922. As of 1970, since no specimens had been found for many years it was presumed extinct. By 1983, it had been rediscovered on Bernier and Dorre Islands and as of 1996 is only found on those islands.

Threats and Reasons for Decline:

Reasons for its decline have included predation by introduced foxes and feral cats, competition from livestock and introduced rabbits, habitat clearing and degradation, and changed fire regimes.


Data on Biology and Ecology

Weight:

The Western barred bandicoot weighs 190 - 250 g (6.8 - 8.9 oz).

Habitat:

The Western barred bandicoot formerly occurred over much of southern Australia in semi-arid and arid areas with a variety of vegetation types. These included plains and sand ridges with woodlands, open saltbush and bluebush plains, desert acacia, stony hills, dense scrub and heath. In its one remaining habitat, on Bernier and Dorre Islands, it is especially abundant in sandhills behind beaches, although it also occurs in grasslands and scrub communities on vegetated dunes, on sandplain, and among travertine outcrops.

The Western barred bandicoot is one of the species that live in the Southwest Australia Biodiversity Hotspot (Cons. Intl.).

Birth Season:

Mating occurs mainly in the autumn and winter.

Birth Rate:

1 to 3 young per litter, with 2 being the most common.

Diet:

The Western barred bandicoot is omnivorous, eating insects, seeds, roots, herbs and small animals. It usually obtains its food by digging.

Behavior:

The Western barred bandicoot is usually nocturnal, spending the daytime in a nest beneath a low shrub or tussock, although it has occasionally been seen in the daytime.

Social Organization:

Western barred bandicoots usually occupy a nest alone, although on occasion two animals are found together. It has also been reported that they can become belligerent towards each other.

Density and Range:

On Dorre Island, Western barred bandicoots were found to have overlapping home ranges, each containing several nest sites located beneath low shrubs or spinifex clumps. (Menkhorst 1995)


References

Burbidge & McKenzie 1989, Burton & Pearson 1987, Cons. Intl., Flannery 1990, IUCN 1966, IUCN 1994, IUCN 1996, IUCN 2000, IUCN 2003a, IUCN 2004, Kennedy 1992, Maxwell et al. 1996, Menkhorst 1995, Milamba Aust., Nowak & Paradiso 1983, Philip & Fisher 1970


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Last modified: October 6, 2006;

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