A Long-nosed Bandicoot was recently discovered lurking in the gardens of Taronga’s Bird Show.
Senior Keeper Grey Fisher said he spotted the little bandicoot first thing in the morning as he was beginning to dig his way underground.
“Bandicoots are quite nocturnal so it is rare to see one out during the day, even in the early morning,” Grey said. “This marks the first time that I have seen a wild bandicoot in the Zoo in my 12 years as a keeper here and I’m hoping this little guy decides to keep his burrow in our garden so I may get to see him more often in the future.”
Often confused with rodents, bandicoots are small, omnivorous marsupials whose foraging performs an important role in keeping bushland ecosystems healthy. They can be useful in gardens due to their appetite for grubs and garden pests.
The Long-nosed Bandicoot was once common throughout Sydney. Now there are only a few isolated groups left in and around NSW capital city. The population of Long-nosed Bandicoots at North Head on Sydney’s Northern Beaches was once a stronghold for the species, but even this group is now listed as endangered.
The main threats to the Long-nosed Bandicoot, like many other native species in urban areas, is habitat loss through development and attacks by cats, dogs and foxes.