The Southern Brown Bandicoot is listed as nationally endangered under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and threatened in Victoria under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. Until the 1970s, the Southern Brown Bandicoot was common in the heathy woodlands that occurred in the Western Port region. Today, there remains only one relatively secure site and elsewhere only isolated patches of habitat remain, with few surviving bandicoots. The conservation of these fragmented populations, on land managed by many private landholders and public agencies, poses a significant challenge.
The Southern Brown Bandicoot (SBB) Recovery program is one of the first projects initiated by the Biosphere (2003). In collaboration with other organisations, the Biosphere Foundation's Research Committee established a Southern Brown Bandicoot recovery program. Since then the Foundation has been working with partners to ensure the regional recovery of the endangered Southern Brown Bandicoot - it is a key task in the Living Strategy – the Biosphere’s Strategic planning instrument.
The team’s major work areas are:
- On-ground actions to control foxes, and improve and reconnect habitat
- Research and monitoring to provide a scientific basis for management using self-triggered cameras including significant contribution to the Western Port Biosphere Growing Connections project
- Community engagement
- Formation of a Regional Recovery Group in 2012
- Contributing to state and federal government recovery plans and Species Strategies
High priority actions for the future include:
- Extend and improve bandicoot habitat and reserves. Reconnect the landscape.
- Implement effective control and monitoring of pest predators.
- Accurately survey known habitat and collect habitat and environmental information relevant to community ecology and condition.
- Control (or at least reduce) threats from road mortality.
- Further clarify the taxonomy and genetic status of populations to enable an accurate conservation status assessment of the taxon.
- Improve the control of companion animals, particularly dogs and cats.
- Analyse and compare population census data with management histories.
- Assess the need for, and feasibility of, a captive breeding population.
- Engage a community education facilitator.
- Heighten public awareness of the recovery program, including encouraging the public to report bandicoot sightings.
Information about Southern Brown Bandicoots in Koo Wee Rup is available here.