Long Nosed Bandicoots

bandicootroadsignThe Long-nosed Bandicoot occurs throughout a range of habitats along the east coast of Australia and until the early 1960s was abundant throughout the Sydney region. However rapid urban development coupled with threats such as feral animals and road mortality have reduced the distribution of the species down to only a handful of small populations, of which North Head is one.

The North Head bandicoot population is highly important because it is an isolated population (being away from the mainland) that scientists believe may be genetically distinct. The population has also been the subject of a number of scientific studies and is therefore an important reference population.
The North Head population of Long-nosed Bandicoots Peramales nasuta is now listed as an endangered population on Schedule 1, Part 2 of the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act.

babybandicootsManagement of the population is the joint responsibility of the Department of Environment & Conservation and Manly Council. The Long-nosed Bandicoot Recovery Team has drafted a recovery plan which will be implemented once finalised.

In 2004, a survey completed by the Department of Conservation and Environment (DEC) found the population to be between 130 and 160 individuals. With major habitat loss the population is confined to a relatively small area of North Head on public and privately owned bushland and adjoining residential areas – including some backyards.

bandicootsinleavesMajor threats to bandicoots include habitat loss, feral animals such as cats and foxes, and cars – road kill in North Head is common (of several other animals as well). To address these threats, DEC currently carries out fox baiting programs to reduce fox numbers, and the gate into the National Park is closed at night time in an attempt to reduce road kill.

Bandicoot Biology

  • Bandicoots are nocturnal, living in burrows in the scrub during the day. In urban areas, they often use wood piles or other man-made structures as shelter.
  • Bandicoots only roam in a small range of approximately 1 acre, generally around their nest site. This is a relatively small area in comparison to a cat that can roam up to 16km in one night.
  • The Long-nosed Bandicoot makes a distinctive ‘squeaking’ noise when threatened.
  • Bandicoot habitat is primarily dry woodland, scrubs and coastal heaths.
  • Bandicoots are omnivores and feed on many things including beetles, insects and larvae, spiders, fungi, seeds, cockroaches & fungi.
  • Long-nosed Bandicoots are solitary animals which breed throughout the entire year. Female bandicoots give birth to an average of two or three young after 12.5 days gestation.

Where can I get more information?

Manly Council’s ‘Threatened Species Information Pack’, containing:
Ecological Consultants Association NSW - Register of Environmental Consultants
NPWS Information Circular No.2: ‘The ‘8 Part Test’ of Significance’
NPWS Information Circular: ‘SIS’
Map: Areas Identified as requiring an ‘8 Part Test’ under Section 5A of the EP&A Act.

Additional Resources:
Long Nosed Bandicoots at North Head - Comments by Tim Flannery (PDF)
Threatened Species Information - Long Nosed Bandicoot NPWS (PDF)

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