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Northern Brown Bandicoot

Isoodon macrourus

Head & Body length: 30-47cm.

Tail:8-22cm.

Weight:1-2 kg.

Video of juvenile Bandicoots in care by Sharon McGrigor

 

The Bandicoot is a territorial animal and can be aggressive, although I must admit I have only ever encountered placid bandicoots. Any aggression is generally directed at rivals as they cross each other's territory. They breed all year round, the female becoming sexually mature at 4-5 months of age, and can from then on produce a litter every 7-8 weeks. Normally only 2-3 litters are reared annually.

The nest is above ground in a shallow hole lined with grass and leaves, which is scraped together with it's forelegs. The upper surface of the nest is partly covered by soil and well concealed with debris. When the nest is occupied the entrance is well hidden. They may also use hollow logs on the ground. It is interesting just how many of our native animals make use of hollow logs for shelter and nesting, considering how long it can take for a tree to develop hollows, let us make sure we leave the old trees alone so the species that need these hollows can continue to exist.

Gestation is 12 1/2 days, the shortest gestation period of any marsupial. 2-7 young are born weighing 2.5 gram and 13 mm. long, the tiny bandicoots make their way to the pouch whilst still attached to he umbilical cord untill such time as they are securely attached to one of 8 teats. Normally only 3-4 young are raised, this is due to the fact that mum may breed again as soon as the young leave the pouch, the teats that the young used are now too large for the newly born to attach to, thus 2 successive litters will use alternate teats.

The young stay in the pouch for 60 days, and become independent at about 4 months of age. The pouch is backward opening; just as well as the little ones would otherwise be covered in dirt when mum digs for food, it also makes that first journey to the pouch a bit shorter just after birth.

There are 2 species of bandicoots in WIRES Northern Rivers area, the Northern Brown and the Long Nosed Bandicoot.

The Long Nosed is smaller than the Northern Brown, and like its name suggests it has a very long nose. The hind limbs of both species resemble that of macropod's, the thigh is powerful, foot elongate and the second and third toe is joined. The hind limbs can be used for leaping, but the usual fast movement is like a gallop.

Bandicoots dig cone shaped holes in the ground looking for worms, insects and roots. I have heard many complain about the holes dug in the garden by these interesting creatures, but if you consider that they are at the same time getting rid of many pests, maybe we should be thankful for their assistance. They have a home range of 1-6 hectares, however, they tend to roam over a comparatively small range, often staying within half a hectare of their nests and can live for up to 3 years. Although some people associate bandicoots with ticks, this may be because humans tend to pick up ticks most easily in long grass or thick scrub- which also happens to be the type of habitat favoured by bandicoots.

Main predators are dogs, cats, foxes, python snakes and the ferocious motor vehicle.

Should you see a dead bandicoot on the side of the road, please stop and check (if it is safe to do so) if it is a male or female, females may have live young in the pouch, if this is the case please call WIRES or your nearest wildlife care group as soon as possible for assistance.

Image is a juvenile Northern Brown Bandicoot after a cat attack.

 

Video of juvenile Bandicoots in care by Sharon McGrigor

 

Juveniles

Image by Dave Pinson

Juvenile

Image by Alicia Carter

Image by Alison Deahm

Juvenile

Image by Sharon McGrigor

Image by Alison Deahm
Image by Alison Deahm

Juvenile

Image by Alicia Carter

Juvenile

Image by Alicia Carter

Juvenile

Image by Alicia Carter

Juvenile 42g

Image by Alicia Carter

Juvenile 46g

Image by Alicia Carter

Juvenile 46g

Image by Alicia Carter

Adult Image by Sue Ulyatt
Image by Sharon Mcgrigor
Image by Sharon McGrigor
Image by Sue Ulyatt

 

LONG NOSED BANDICOOT

Perameles nasuta

Image by Sharon McGrigor
Image by Lib Ruytenberg
Image by Sue Ulyatt
Image by Sue Ulyatt
Juvenile 43gram Alicia Carter
Image by Sue Ulyatt
 

 

Updated March 19, 2017  

Webmaster: Susanne Ulyatt

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