Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program

Friday 6 January, 2017

Parks Victoria are implementing a pest control and monitoring program to protect the Southern Brown Bandicoot, Isoodon obesulus obesulus, within a number of reserves within Southern Gippsland.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program was created as a requirement by the former Linking Melbourne Authority (LMA) as part of the Peninsula Link freeway development, which was later transitioned across to VicRoads in 2015.

Parks Victoria, as the land manager, will be launching the Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program across a number of reserves along the Bass Coast and Southern Gippsland. An action plan has been developed for the next 10 years detailing a range of strategies to protect and improve habitat condition to support populations at Wonthaggi Heathlands Nature Conservation Reserve, Kilcunda - Harmers Haven Coastal Reserve and Adams Creek Nature Conservation Reserve.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot is a ground-dwelling marsupial with a grey-brown coat and a long tapering snout. They play an important role in the ecosystem by turning over soil which helps increase the rate of leaf litter decomposition and nutrient cycling. So, with declining numbers, it will have a cascading effect on plant diversity, and species composition in the Southern Gippsland reserves.

Parks Victoria Area Chief Ranger South Gippsland and Bass Gerard Delaney said that one of the major threats to the Southern Brown Bandicoot is predation by pest animals such as red foxes.

“We will be engaging with the local community to discuss the Southern Brown Bandicoot program as it is rolled out over the coming months due to the expansion of pest control activities needing to be undertaken at these reserves” added Mr Delaney.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot Protection Program will assist Parks Victoria in understanding and enhancing the population within these reserves by reducing the major threat of predation by pest animals.

“We envisage this project will generate subsequent benefits for the community and as the project progresses we are seeking to work closer with neighbouring landowners and farmers to further reduce the number of red foxes locally. Additionally, it will also hope to improve the habitat of other significant species such as the Hooded Plover”, said Mr Delaney.

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