Since the 2009 fires monitoring with motion activated cameras has shown a resurgence in the population of Long-nosed Bandicoots around the King Parrot and Stony Creeks. This positive news has been assisted by the regular fox control carried out by Landcare in the area over the past few years.
Various fox control methods have been implemented including the use of soft jaw traps, baiting and this year we are trialling the canid pest ejectors. The fox control and monitoring has not only been carried out at the Stony Creek Reserve but also on the nearby properties of many local landcarers; and we are looking for more properties to be involved in this important project which has been supported by funding from Landcare Australia through the Habitat Restoration Program and Coca Cola.
Long-nosed Bandicoots are a medium-sized nocturnal marsupial with grey-brown fur, a short narrow tail, pointy ears, and a long nose and are very vulnerable to predation by foxes and also cats.
You may not see this shy creature but their presence may be detected by other evidence such as the small conical holes they dig with the front feet and the snout is used to reach in and detect grubs, worms, insects and fungi.
Long-nosed Bandicoots were once widespread and common in forests of South-eastern Australia but their range and distribution has greatly reduced and in some areas they are now locally extinct.
This reduction in population abundance is occurring despite their capacity for quick reproduction (females can produce two litters per year and have a very short gestation period of only 13 days) mostly due to predation by foxes and cats and habitat loss; especially when the dense understorey vegetation is cleared.
The low shrubby vegetation around Kinglake and Flowerdale of small shrubs, ferns and wire grass provides important shelter for Long-nosed Bandicoots for nesting and protection from predators. The nest is usually made from grasses and other plant material in shallow depressions on the ground amongst the thick vegetation. They also like to venture out into nearby open grassy areas for foraging. Maintaining areas of low dense understorey cover is critical for their survival.
The Kinglake Ranges still have areas close to the townships such as the King Parrot Creek, Stony Creek, Number One and Number Two Creek where populations of Long-nosed Bandicoots are persisting. You can help conserve this species and other native fauna by keeping your pets confined to your house, particularly at night, and by not allowing them to roam into areas of potential habitat. If you’re one of the lucky residents that have them on your property, you could consider setting aside areas that provide habitat for native wildlife and establishing a separate area for your pets. Undertaking integrated pest animal control (including foxes) across the landscape will also benefit this species and many other wildlife species.
If you see this species (live or dead) or indirect signs of its presence, please report the sightings (including the location description with GIS coordinates if possible, date and any other notes) to UGLN Landcare Coordinator Chris Cobern on 0413 855 490 or email firstname.lastname@example.org