Wildlife Tours Making a Difference
Our range of Wildlife tours offer close encounters with some of Australia’s unique animals. Our point of difference is each trip contributes to local wildlife conservation projects. Today’s feature article is all about the little known but cute as a button Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
Never heard of a Bandicoot? Well that’s no surprise. Once common across Victoria’s volcanic plains and grasslands, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) is now one of Australia’s most endangered species and is considered extinct in the wild.
These shy tussock grassland animals can grow up to 660 grams. The bandicoots decline is linked to farming and the loss of over 99% of their native grassland habitat. Further pressures such as predation from introduced foxes, cats and dogs and competition with rabbits have also caused decline. Their survival now depends entirely on captive breeding programs and secure, healthy, predator-free habitat.
Taking action to conserve local wildlife
Conservation Volunteers Australia is working in partnership with Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria, Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Centre, the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team to create predator free sanctuaries where bandicoots can flourish in their native grassland habitat. This successful partnership program has given the Bandicoots a break, providing a safe heaven for them to call home.
Through generous donations and volunteer support predator exclusion fencing is being constructed, pest animals eradicated including rabbits and foxes, grassland habitats restored and bandicoot numbers monitored at key sites across Victoria including;
- Woodlands Historic Park – adjacent to Melbourne Airport
- Hamilton Parklands – South West Victoria
- Tiverton Station – Western Victoria
In October 2017 Bandicoots from Woodlands Reserve were also successfully released into the wild at Phillip Island Nature Park.
Want to help protect the Eastern Barred Bandicoots?
Naturewise Eco Escapes offers an opportunity to join local rangers and help monitor bandicoot populations at Woodlands Historic Park. This unique wildlife tour is a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with one of Victoria’s critically endangered animals and meet our local conservation heroes ensuring their future survival. You’ll also meet other local woodland wildlife including Kangaroos, possums and a variety of Grassland bird species.
To see a Bandicoot in action check out a video of one being released at Woodlands Wildlife Reserve.
Want to join our Wildlife Monitoring Trip and personally meet the Bandicoots? Book now and join our next Naturewise trip in April 2017 or Donate to support Conservation Volunteers ongoing conservation work.