Raw Kaya Organics owners Ebony and Trent share their day with the endangered Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
Off to a great start
Preparation is key, but clearly we must have missed this memo! We woke up at early for the 6am start, but forgot to leave time for the coffee fix.
No coffee & early morning start = things start to get a little crazy.
Ready to start recording important bandicoot notes.
Meeting Travis – Bandicoot Conservation Expert
We were greeted by the friendliest face imaginable. From the instant we met Travis, we loved him and were enthralled by his passion for and belief in what he was doing! Travis was our conservation project guide and spent hours telling us about the work that he does to help prevent the Eastern Barred Bandicoots from becoming extinct, alongside Conservation Volunteers Australia and Zoos Victoria.
Catching our first bandicoot
From the moment we laid eyes on these little cuties, we felt all warm and fuzzy inside. Think a mix between the Easter Bunny and a Bilby. They are outright adorable. The conservation team had previously laid animal-friendly traps around the property to safely catch the bandicoots without harming them, and it was our job to check each of them, record any information about the bandicoot, plus tag and take hair samples of all new bandicoots.
The first bandicoot we caught was a new young female that hadn’t been tagged previously. So, we carefully gave her a tag, recorded some information about her, and released her back into the wild. Above you can watch a video of her being released.
A truly special moment that we will never forget
To see an Eastern Barred Bandicoot, a species that is now extinct in the wild, was a very special thing for us to experience. But not only did we get to help catch, tag and release them, we found several female bandicoots with young babies in their pouches. Without harming or scaring them in any way, we needed to take a closer look to make sure the babies were all healthy. What a truly special moment, to see a newborn baby bandicoot still in it’s mummy’s pouch. We were all speechless.
What we learned about the Eastern Barred Bandicoots
Aside from their obvious cuteness, our eyes were opened to some incredible facts about the Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
- They are now extinct in the wild and can be found only in 3 protected reintroduction sites in Victorian Grasslands.
- They are a nocturnal marsupial, meaning the females keep their young in a pouch. Baby bandicoots are born just 12 days after the female becomes pregnant.
- The three primary reasons for the bandicoots extinction in the wild are predators such as foxes, loss of their grassy habitat and farmland, and disease introduced by cats (Toxoplasmosis).
- The lifespan of the Eastern Barred Bandicoots is on average 3 years.
- Their nests are usually very shallow on the surface of the ground and covered with leaves and foliage.
- If it wasn’t for the incredible work from a team of people at Zoos Victoria and Conservation Volunteers Australia, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot would now be completely extinct.
How you can help
If you have been as captivated as we have been by the fragile Eastern Barred Bandicoot, visit Naturewise Eco Escapes for our next Bandicoot trapping dates in October 2017. You can also make a tax deductible donation to support the fantastic and ongoing wildlife conservation efforts for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot through Conservation Volunteers Australia.