Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) Recovery Plan

This document constitutes the NSW Recovery Plan for the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus), and as such considers the conservation requirements of the species across its known range within the State.

1 November 2006
Department of Environment and Conservation (NSW)
Publication, Recovery plan
  • ISBN 1-74137-3344
  • File PDF 1.6MB
  • Pages 39
  • Name southern-brown-bandicoot-isoodon-obesulus-recovery-plan.pdf

The Southern Brown Bandicoot, listed as Endangered (Schedule 1, Part 1) on the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and Endangered on the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, is a medium-sized (400-1600g) ground-dwelling marsupial. Like other members of the bandicoot family (Peramelidae) it has a long tapering snout with a naked nose, a compact body and short tail with a pointed end. The head has small rounded ears and small eyes. The coarsely furred dorsal surface of the body is usually dark grey with golden-brown flecks, and the softer underbelly is creamy-white. While the forelegs are short with curved claws on the digits, the hindlimbs are much longer resembling those of macropods. The hind feet are characterised by the presence of syndactylus toes, formed by fusion of the second and third digits. These are used for grooming. As an omnivore with a broad-ranging palate, the Southern Brown Bandicoot consumes a wide range of invertebrates, various plant material (leaves, fruits and seeds) and the fruit-bodies of hypogeous (underground-fruiting) fungi.

In NSW, the species has a patchy distribution along the eastern coastline and adjacent lower foothills in the southern part of the State, from the Hawkesbury River to the Victorian border. Records of the species are generally confined to heathlands or woodlands and forests with heathy understorey, typically on friable sandy soil. Current information suggests that there only two population strongholds, one within Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Parks in the Northern Sydney Metropolitan Area, the other in the far south-east corner of the State, encompassing Ben Boyd National Park, Nadgee Nature Reserve and adjacent State Forests.

Perceived short-term threats to survival of the Southern Brown Bandicoot in New South Wales include predation by introduced carnivores such as dogs and foxes, inappropriate disturbance to its habitat, and in some areas vehicular traffic. The long-term viability of the species in the wild is made more tenuous by its patchy distribution and the consequent potential for localised population extinction.