Not so cute, Bandicoot!

by Edgardo Gubelin on July 15, 2016

Traveling the local roads, we pass signs along the route, making us aware, to beware of the “endangered Bandicoot”. Does this mean “Hoot for a bandicoot”?

My first thoughts on seeing my first bandicoot, was that it resembled a cross between a miniature kangaroo and a rat! It has the same posture as a kangaroo, with large back legs and small front legs and it seems to hop around in the same old fashion. Really weird! Being an Australian mammal, it is marsupial (active at night) and has a rear facing pouch as it spends most of its time digging.

The Long-nosed Bandicoot, is the most common species and is known to visit suburban backyards, leaving tell-tale conical holes in the garden. They eat insects, earthworms and spiders including the poisonous “Funnel Web” spider.

Over the past few years on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, there have been several outbreaks of “Salmonella Java Infections” caused by accidental swallowing material such as sand containing these harmful germs. Long-nosed Bandicoot droppings taken from the area have tested positive for Salmonella Java. Bandicoots are protected in NSW, so next time you are cornered by a Bandicoot, just use the words “Scoot Bandicoot!”

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