Our WILVOS 5441 6200 Hotline gets to experience ‘clusters’ of calls. Different species, at the same time each year, become casualties of human impact on the landscape.
Our backyard swimming pools are death traps to many native animals. Birds fly into those ubiquitous glass panel pool fences. Young bandicoots find their way into backyard swimming pools, and then are unable to climb out. It would be so good if pools were designed in such a way that animals could escape. Man-made ‘ramps’ can be placed in the pool, using heavy duty rope or shadecloth. There are commercial options available, but cheaper aesthetic alternatives are possible with a little imagination and ingenuity.
Bandicoots are facinating animals. They are often mistakenly identified as bilbies and it can take some time to convince people otherwise. Bilbies are one of the bandicoot family, but bandicoots are not bilbies.
One of our WILVO carers is thoroughly enjoying the experience of rehabilitating her first young northern brown bandicoot. Bandicoots look like little piglets as they eat their food with great enthusiasm! Given the right environment they soon make up a great little nest, concealed so well with overlaying grass and leaf litter. It really is difficult to find them in their enclosure, when they are resting in their little ‘hideaway’. Nevertheless, when food beckons they soon appear.
Often people don’t realize bandicoots have pouches These marsupials have a short gestation period of 12 and a half days and, interestingly, in the last few days a placenta is formed. It is an amazing sight to see a number of these little embryos attached to their umbilical cords! Usually there are only two to four young though the mother has the capacity for more. The lactation time of approximately sixty days is one of the shortest in our mamma species, so bandicoots are independent at quite a young age. They have a great growth rate and the little males can be quite aggressive to each other if housed together for too long.
It is fascinating to research our native animals as they all have such distinctive traits which of course have evolved to ensure their longevity in a tough world. Without this knowledge of habitat and behaviour, we cannot rehabilitate our wildlife to the optimum
Donna Brennan Wildlife Volunteers Assoc Inc (WILVOS) PO Box 4805 Sunshine Coast Mail Centre Q 4560 PH 5441 6200 www.wilvos.org.au