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Long-nosed bandicoot

Common name: long-nosed bandicoot

Scientific name: Perameles nasuta

Family name: Peramelidae

Conservation status: This species is listed as Least Concern in Queensland (Nature Conservation Act 1992) and it is ranked as low priority under the department's Back on Track species prioritisation framework.

Description

Related to the endangered bilby, bandicoots are small, ground-dwelling marsupials. They grow to about 50 cm long and are brown with a creamy belly. They come with built-in waterproofing - fur that is flat, rather than rounded, to deflect moisture.

Habitat and distribution

Long-nosed bandicoots are common only to the D'Aguilar Range in south-east Queensland. Smaller populations are found in rainforest, woodlands and gullies elsewhere along the east coast of Australia.

Life history and behaviour

A loner at heart, the long-nosed bandicoot retreats to a grassy hollow in the daytime, coming out at night to forage and feed alone. Rarely seen, it can be heard snuffling about on the forest floor hunting beetles and grubs.

You might never get to hear a bandicoot in the forest, but you could see its effect in your garden, as bandicoots have been known to dig up lawns, distressing keen gardeners. However, it's worth remembering that the grubs they are killing could do more harm than the bandicoots.

Long-nosed bandicoots are prolific breeders, they breed throughout the year. After a gestation period of only 12-13 days, they give birth to a litter of one to five young. The young are raised in the mothers pouch and weaning occurs at about 60 days old.

Related information

Jones, C and Parish, S 2006. Field guide to Australian mammals. Steve Parish Publishing

Maxwell, S, Burbidge, AA, and Morris, K (eds.) 1996. The 1996 Action Plan For Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Wildlife Australia Endangered Species Program Project Number 500.

Menkhorst, P and Knight, F 2001. A field guide to mammals of Australia. Oxford University Press, Melbourne, Victoria.

Last reviewed
25 May 2016
Last updated
20 July 2011