02 Aug BANDICOOTS HARD AT WORK
Southern Brown Bandicoots are one of the keystone species at Aussie Ark. As Ecosystem engineers they play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Through their digging, they help to improve soil health by turning over organic matter, bringing deep soils and their nutrients to the surface.
Aussie Ark is beyond excited to see this ecosystem transformation in the flesh. Aussie Ark keepers took a keen notice of one sanctuary and its flora change when bandicoots were introduced into the habitat. They noticed a complete overhaul of the flora growing there, Australian grasses thrived while weeds and introduced species disappeared.
“This is just further proof that protecting our Australian wildlife is so important. Without them the entire landscape changes!” Aussie Ark Curator, Hayley Shute.
This rapid transformation is proof that the almost total removal of these mammals from the landscape has to be affecting ecosystem function!
Sadly, bandicoots, like many of the small to medium-sized marsupials of Australia, have undergone several species extinctions and significant contractions in distribution since European settlement. Of the estimated 12 species of bandicoot in Australia, approximately half are now extinct, threatened with extinction or extremely rare. Reasons for their population decline include:
• Loss and habitat fragmentation for agriculture and urban developments.
• Burning regimes that impact on understorey species and floristic structures.
• Predation by introduced predators such as cats, dogs and foxes.
• Death or injury by fire and motor vehicles.
You can help secure our wild areas, and protect our unique wildlife, creating a long-term future for generations to come. Your tax-deductible donation can help us provide sanctuaries of wilderness in the following ways:
• $50 will buy five fence pickets
• $100 will buy one fence strainer
• $150 secures one metre of fence
• $250 will buy 20 meters of netting
• $500 provides essential monitoring camera equipment to monitor our wildlife without intervention
• $1,000 will buy three Thomas traps for capturing/ monitoring
• $2,250 protects one hectare of land for our wildlife to call home
Donate today to help save our Bandicoots from extinction!