The long-nosed bandicoot, Perameles nasuta, is a beautiful and environmentally friendly little nocturnal marsupial. Yes, they have a pouch! Bandicoots are an eco super-power in Pittwater gardens, hoovering up pesky leaf curl grubs, tick larvae and even funnel web spiders. They aerate the lawn and spread mycorrhizal fungi, which helps plants absorb soil nutrients.
Although shy, bandicoots leave clues to their presence: listen out for squeaks in the night (if you didn’t just tread on a child’s toy then, congratulations, you have a bandicoot family)! In the daytime, look for small “snout pokes” in the ground. If you’re harbouring these fabulous natives help them thrive by providing shelter from foxes, dogs and cats. Plant lots of grasses such as lomandra and dianella as well as grass trees and add a hollow log or two. If you’d like to encourage them to your garden try planting out a habitat area. Grasses are fast growers and look great en masse and under trees. Do not use rodenticide bait which is inhumane and dangerous to both pets and wildlife.
Bandicoots are one of many reasons why Pittwater is so special. We can still boast a natural urban environment that supports this marsupial, but their numbers are in decline. 50% of bandicoot populations have been wiped out across Australia with red foxes and feral and domestic cats a real problem for them. Let’s give the Long-nosed bandicoot a chance. Read more about beautiful bandicoots at:
Council’s website www.northernbeaches.nsw.gov.au/environment/species/long-nosed-bandicoot
NSW Department of Environment www.environment.nsw.gov.au/Topics/Animals-and-plants/Native-animals/Native-animal-facts/Bandicoots
Image Credit – Northern Beaches Council