The Eastern Barred Bandicoot
Although the mainland subspecies of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is currently classified as extinct in the wild, Zoos Victoria has an ambitious aim to take them off the extinction list. This involves working with a range of community partners on a complex breeding and re-population program.
Once widespread across Western Victoria, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot was driven to extinction as a result of predation from foxes and the loss of their grassland habitat. Eastern Barred Bandicoots were last seen in south-west Victoria. Some of these wild bandicoots became the founding members of a captive-breeding program at Zoos Victoria which began more than 25 years ago. Since then, Zoos Victoria has bred more than 650 Eastern Barred Bandicoots as part of a re-population program to recover the species.
In 2017 we were part of the largest release of Eastern Barred Bandicoots ever
Up to 80 individual Eastern Barred Bandicoots were released into a new fox-free island home on Phillip Island's Summerland Peninsula.
The release was the largest introduction of the bandicoots onto an unfenced site and came after a successful trial on Churchill Island in 2015.
“After 26 years managing the captive breeding program, we are hopeful the release of Eastern Barred Bandicoots onto Phillip Island will boost the wild population beyond fenced sites across Victoria. Together with the passion and commitment of our partners we look forward to moving closer to our goal of recovering the mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoots,” Dr Jenny Gray, CEO of Zoos Victoria said.
In addition to the breeding program, Zoos Victoria is also leading a trial to find out if specially trained Maremma Guardian Dogs can operate as ‘bodyguards’ to protect Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
Eight Maremma recruits are in the midst of training for this very important role, spending time with sheep and bandicoots as they prepare for active duty in special trial sites on private property in Victoria’s south west.
This innovative trial is an example of the lengths Zoos Victoria is willing to go to, to protect this precious native species.
Good Music For A Good Cause
Zoos Victoria is a not-for-profit conservation organisation working to secure a future rich in wildlife. All proceeds from your Zoo Twilights ticket contribute to saving a tiny marsupial called the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
In cooperation with a range of dedicated partners and the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team, we are on the cusp of securing this small and shy species back to the wilds of Victoria.
Your concert ticket is helping us save this species from extinction. Thank you!