Nature conservation

Threatened species

Golden Bandicoot (mainland) - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Isoodon auratus auratus
Conservation status in NSW: Presumed Extinct
Commonwealth status: Vulnerable
Profile last updated: 05 Aug 2019


The Golden Bandicoot (Isoodon auratus) (mainland) is a small golden-brown marsupial with a rather long, pointed head and compact body. It has stiff golden hairs which lie over the head and body, completely hiding the softer, greyish underfur. It is by far the smallest of its genus, being a little over half the size of its relatives the Northern Brown Bandicoot (I. macrourus) and the Southern Brown Bandicoot (I. obesulus).

This species grows to an average length of 24.5 cm with an average tail length of 10.5 cm. It weighs between 300 and 670 g when mature.


The Golden Bandicoot is classes as a threatened species. It was once found throughout much of northwestern Australia, with a patch on the New South Wales/South Australia border, but it now is no longer known to occur in NSW and is restricted to the Kimberley region of Western Australia, and to Augustus, Barrow and Middle Islands off Western Australia, and Marchinbar Island off Northern Territory.

The approximate area of occupancy of the Golden Bandicoot, at the species level, based on post-1990 records, is 65 000 km².

Habitat and ecology

  • Habitat of extant Golden Bandicoot (mainland) populations includes rainforest margins and viney thickets on rugged sandstone (the north Kimberley area), eucalypt woodland (Yampi Peninsula) and rugged sandstone with eucalypt woodland over hummock grassland (Augustus Island). On Marchinbar Island, the Golden Bandicoot is found in heath and open woodland vegetation types but not in sand dunes, coastal thickets or rainforest. Kimberley populations occur in a high rainfall (700–1200 mm) area.
  • The Golden Bandicoot appears to be a solitary, discrete and restricted species, although home ranges have some overlap. On Marchinbar Island, home ranges vary from 4.4 ha to 35 ha for males and 1.7 ha to 12.7 ha for females. Home ranges tended to be larger in the dry season, but only slightly and tend to centre on nest sites.
  • Based on scat analysis of Golden Bandicoot populations on Marchinbar Island, the diet of this species consists of arthropods (beetles, termites, ants, larvae, spiders and centipedes). Western Australian mainland populations have been recorded eating insects, arachnids and plant material. Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) populations have been recorded eating eggs and reptiles.
  • Populations on Marchinbar Island are sexually dimorphic and larger than those on Barrow Island, but smaller than those in the Kimberley. Marchinbar Island populations appear to breed all year round, whereas Barrow Island populations have a strong summer peak. In the Kimberley, Golden Bandicoots have been recorded with two pouch young in May and September.
  • Breeding on Marchinbar Island appears to be continuous as pouch young and juveniles are found in all seasons. In one study, five litters were found, three litters had three pouch young and the other litters had two.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region