Southern Brown Bandicoot

BIRD: linking the biodiversity community
Southern Brown Bandicoot
Isoodon obesulus
Australia: endangered EPBC
Victoria: near threatened
FFG: not listed

The Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus is one of six species of bandicoots which have either current or historic records in Victoria.

  • Pig-footed Bandicoot Chaeropus ecaudatus, extinct in Victoria and the rest of Australia.
  • Short-nosed Bandicoot Isoodon sp. (c.f. auratus), extinct in Victoria.
  • Western Barred Bandicoot Perameles bougainville fasciata, extinct in Victoria and mainland Australia.
  • Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii, critically endangered in Victoria.
  • Southern Brown Bandicoot Isoodon obesulus, near threatened in Victoria.
  • Long-nosed Bandicoot Perameles nasuta, not threatened in Victoria.

In Victoria, the Southern Brown Bandicoot occurs south of the Great Diving Range, mainly at lower altitudes and generally within 50 km of the coastline, exceptions being the Greater Grampians bioregion and the Glenelg Plain bioregion. Habitat comprises scrubby heathlands and woodlands often associated with well drained soils.

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Southern Brown Bandicoot images: Annette Rypalski, Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, Lara. Southern Brown Bandicoot FC remote camera 341.jpg Remote camera image: Felicity Christian, DSE, Horsham.

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Previously recorded distribution in south west Victoria. Source: Victorian Fauna Database 2007. Note: the Southern Brown Bandicoot may have been lost from many recorded locations due to habitat loss and predation.

There are strong associations between habitat quality and fire events for this species with favourable characteristics being a mosaic of small scale burnt areas undergoing different stages of post fire renewal. Less favourable circumstances are long periods (20 years) without fire or on the other hand large scale fires which reduce habitat age class diversity or too frequent burning which does not allow enough time for habitat and ecological processes to develop.

Introduced predators such as Foxes and Feral Cats pose a significant threat to this species. There are instances where the Southern Brown Bandicoot as well as other species of bandicoot can thrive when they are protected from predators when behind predator proof fencing, e,g., Eastern Barred Bandicoot at Hamilton Community Parklands and Woodlands Historic Park, Southern Brown Bandicoot and Eastern Barred Bandicoot at Mt Rothwell near Lara. In unprotected situation in the wild it is very important to have predator control programs in place.

Southern Brown Bandicoot & Long-nosed Potoroo Surveys

The aim of this project is to undertake surveys in the Greater Grampians and Wimmera Bioregions to obtain information on presence of these species and direct this information into fire operation planning

Following the remote camera survey protocol developed in 2009 / 2010, remote camera surveys were conducted at;

  • Deep Lead Nature Conservation Reserve from July - August 2010
  • Grampians State Forest in November - December 2010
  • Beear State Forest in December 2010 - January 2011
  • Black Range Scenic Reserve in March 2011.
  • Black Ranges region, private land June 2011

In June 2011 Twenty Scout Guard cameras were used over a 21 day period at 54 sites and covering approximately 1000 ha. No Southern Brown Bandicoots or Long-nosed Potoroos were detected in the camera surveys. Ten high resolution (Digital Eye Cameras) will be used in the next round of surveys to improve recognition of detected species.

Live trapping was also conducted during March 2011 on the eastern fringe of the Grampians National Park adjoining private land (within the Pomonal area).Three Southern Brown Bandicoots were detected on private land on the eastern fringes of the Grampians National Park.

Future surveys

In 2011/12 large scale surveys targeting the Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo will be conducted across public and private land on the eastern and western fringes the Grampians National Park.

Surveys in 2011 will continue in the Black Range near Stawell. These surveys will complete previous surveys on private properties to determine if any Southern Brown Bandicoots remain in the Black Range. The focus will then switch to the Black Range State Park on the western side of the Grampians. Most of the project sites for 2011 will be proposed burn areas which have suitable habitat for the Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo.


The Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo surveys are being conducted through biodiversity staff at the Department of Sustainability and Environment, Horsham. For surveys near Stawell there are close ties with Project Platypus which is an initiative of Upper Wimmera Landcare. In conjunction with the Black Range Landcare group, the profile of the Southern Brown Bandicoot received a boost through a project in 2006/07 which highlighted the plight of the threatened Southern Brown Bandicoot. The Black Range Bandicoot Recovery team launched a Bandicoot Education Kit, planted trees to enhance corridors, undertook bandicoot surveys and implemented a fox and feral cat control program and has put together a Recovery Plan for the area.

Project Platypus also incorporates the Bandicoot Highway project which aims to create a wildlife corridor from the Black Range to Jallukar Forest with the eventual aim of linking the Grampians N.P. to the Black Range which will enable bandicoots to move between these areas.

Parks Victoria are also involved where surveys are conducted within areas under their jurisdiction.

The Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo surveys are also supported by the Wimmera Catchment Mangement Authority and the Commonwealth Caring for Country program.

Summary of findings so far

Outside of the Grampians National Park, Southern Brown Bandicoots are present on private land in the eastern fringes of the park. The Southern Brown Bandicoot and Long-nosed Potoroo are yet to be detected on Crown Land east and west of the Grampians National Park.

Surveys will continue for at least two more years focusing on systematically surveying suitable habitat throughout the reserve system and where applicable private land on the eastern and western fringes of the Grampians National Park to adequately assess the status of the Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Long-nosed Potoroo.


  • Felicity Christian – DSE, Horsham 03 53620753
  • Ryan Duffy – Parks Victoria 03 53620753
  • Project Platypus, Upper Wimmera Landcare Network 03 53584410

Selected references:

  • The Australian Museum Complete Book of Australian Mammals, Ed. Ronald Strahan, (Southern Brown Bandicoot, R.W. Braithwaite), Angus & Robertson Publishers, 1983.
  • Mammals of Victoria, Distribution, ecology and conservation, Ed. Peter Menkhorst, (Southern Brown Bandicoot, P.W. Menkhorst & J.H. Seebeck), Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Victorian Department of Sustainability & Environment (2007) Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria – 2007. Department of Sustainability & Environment, East Melbourne, Vuctoria.

See also:

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