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Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii)

Eastern Barred 
Bandicoot

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot


The eastern barred bandicoot only survives in Victoria and Tansmania. There is more of a population in Tansmania, in Victoria the only known population can be found in the western basalt plains. Over one hundred years ago the eastern barred bandicoot lived in southern Australia. Unfortunately the last known sighting that region was in 1893. Domestic animals such as cat and dogs have led to the endangerment of the eastern barred bandicoot as well as the clearing of the species natural habitat by humans. The eastern barred bandicoot is a nocturnal marsupial.

This animal is highly flexible in terms of nesting sites, as long as the ground is densely covered and feeding sites are nearby. Cemeteries, gardens, parks, farms, and woodlands are all common. The nest itself is made of grass and usually found in bushes where there is plenty of shelter. Eastern barred bandicoots nest alone unless it is a female weaning her young.

Eastern barred bandicoots have an ash brown fur on the animalís back that fades into a light grey on the underside of the animal. Across the animalís rump are 2-3 bars where the fur is a light grey (similar to that of the underbelly). The average length of this species from head to tail is about 400mm, weighing an average of 800g. The tail is obviously shorter than the body and the nose is noticeably pointed.

Dietary preferences include earthworms, vegetables, crickets, beetles, bulbs and fruit. The eastern barred bandicoot obtains most of its food by digging small shallow holes in the soil.

Breeding occurs year-round but slows down during the summer months. In times of drought breeding stops until there are more favorable conditions. The gestation period for eastern barred bandicoots is about 12 days; about three young are produced in each litter. After birth, the young remain in the pouch for about 8 weeks; they continue to be weaned in the nest. Once a littler has been completely weaned off the mother she can immediately produce another litter. It is possible for a single female to produce 3 or 4 litters in one year. The average life span of an eastern barred bandicoot is about 2.5 years. 

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Bibliography

A Field Guide to the Mammals of Australia, Menkhorst, P. and Knight, F. ©2001.

Eastern Barred Bandicoots, Wild Animals of Victoria (CD ROM), 8/8/04, www.viridans.com.au/RAREAN/Car1098.htm

Eastern Barred Bandicoot Peremeles gunnii (mainland species) Recovery Plan, Watson, A.J. and Halley, M., www.ea.gov.au/biodiversity/threatend/recovery/p-gunnii.

Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, South Australian Museum, 8/8/04,

www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/extinctions/ebbandi.htm.


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