Bandicoot Superhighway project
The community-led Bandicoot Superhighway Project seeks to reduce the extinction risk of the Endangered (EPBC Act) Southern Brown Bandicoot in the Mount Lofty Ranges, South Australia. A steering group with representatives of all project partners has been formed to help guide activities throughout the project.
A partnership between the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board and the Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group (SURLG) resulted in a two-year funding commitment of $250,000 from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife for the project. The Foundation and the Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board has previously supported the development of the program’s project plan by Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group.
The long term goal of the project is to ensure an ecologically functional ‘Superhighway’ of habitat throughout the Mount Lofty Ranges. We recognise that maintaining habitat and increasing connectivity of habitat for bandicoots is just one component of several required actions for bandicoot recovery in the Mount Lofty Ranges. As such, this project encompasses a broad suite of recovery interventions to increase the project's chances of success.
Southern Brown Bandicoots are robust and compact marsupials which perform an ecologically important functional role in the maintenance of our native vegetation. They contribute to soil ecosystem processes, with each individual turning over approximately four tonnes of soil in search of food per year, and likewise distribute important mycorrhizae fungi that support numerous plant species. Their small digging pits and spoil piles also help provide an environment for the germination of native plants.
The Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, Sturt Upper reaches Landcare Group, and National Parks South Australia are collaborating to undertake a variety of tasks including:
- increasing the area of available habitat through community planting days and corporate planting events;
- increasing regional survey and monitoring capacity through community education and awareness raising;
- working with government partners to foster the use of ecological burns to maintain and improve habitat quality;
- undertaking careful weed control to keep habitat healthy and fencing of remnant vegetation to remove grazing pressure;
- and trialling bandicoot translocations as a recovery tool to expand the species’ area of occupancy and extent of occurrence.
If you are interested in learning more about this project or participating in one of our activities please contact us via SURLG’s project interest form https://bandicoots.paperform.co/
Above:- Representatives from Friends of Mark Oliphant CP, National Parks and Wildlife Service, Hills and Fleurieu Landscape Board, Trees for Life, and Sturt Upper Reaches Landcare Group catch up to discuss the project.
Above: The Southern Brown Bandicoot - Photo: Martin Stokes