The mainland eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii – Victorian subspecies) is a small marsupial that is endemic to south-west Victoria. A Tasmanian population of eastern barred bandicoots (EBBs) are treated as a distinct subspecies. The EBB is extinct in the wild and is listed as Endangered under the EPBC Act.
The mainland subspecies of EBBs formerly occurred from Melbourne through south-western Victoria, and into the south-eastern corner of SA – their overall range was about three million ha. Now, this subspecies is extinct in the wild, and only occurs in a handful of secure locations within its former range, including two sites within the Glenelg Hopkins region – Hamilton parklands and Tiverton, a 920 ha reserve at Dundonnell.
Typical habitat for this species is grassland and grassy woodland on the Victorian Volcanic Plain, both of which are listed as critically endangered ecological communities under the EPBC Act. Aside from a severe loss of habitat, the primary cause for extinction is predation from foxes and to a lesser extent, cats.
Glenelg Hopkins CMA has partnered in the Recovery Team’s efforts for over 20 years to protect this species. Currently, funding from the Australian Government’s Regional Land Partnerships program is provided to DELWP, a key partner, to deliver actions aimed at increasing habitat and maintaining predator proof areas for the EBB. Seven key deliverables will be achieved under current funding:
Establishment of a new Tiverton reintroduction site. This has involved removing all feral predators from the 920-ha site and controlling rabbits. Working with a wide range of partners, the first EBBs were released at the site in November 2020, which was an impressive achievement.
Maintenance of Hamilton Parklands and Tiverton to stop introduced predators. Fences are monitored and repaired as necessary.
Maintain and improve habitat at Hamilton Parklands and Tiverton. This involves weed control and reducing woodland tree encroachment over areas of high-quality grassland. Additionally, native herbivore grazing (kangaroos) is monitored and controlled when necessary, in the Hamilton Parklands site.
Monitor EBB populations at Hamilton Parklands and Tiverton. Both sites are monitored twice yearly, using cage trapping or distance sampling. All ‘clean skins’ captured are marked with a unique tag and health checks are performed on all captured animals. This monitoring data is used to generate estimates of total population size at each site.
Introduce outbred EBBs at Hamilton Parklands and Tiverton. The animals introduced to Tiverton have enhanced genetic diversity, being the first individuals, which are a cross between the mainland subspecies and the Tasmanians subspecies. In time, these outbred EBBs will be introduced into the Hamilton Parklands to enhance genetic diversity.
Monitor genetic diversity of EBBs at Hamilton Parklands and Tiverton following introduction of outbred animals. Tissue samples will be collected and analysed during the life of the project.
Community engagement. This is a critical component of the EBB Recovery Project. Monthly educational spotlight walks are conducted in the Hamilton Parklands, which educates and informs people about the conservation program for the EBB, helping them to embrace their iconic threatened species.
|Partners||DELWP, Glenelg Hopkins CMA|
|Investors||Australian Governments Regional Land Partnerships|
|Related Strategies||EBB Recovery Plan, The Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy|