Wildlife experts have been monitoring Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Hamilton this week to estimate the population of the endangered species, which is extinct in the wild in Victoria.

An Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery team has undertaken trap and release activities at the Hamilton Community Parklands, which is managed by Conservation Volunteers on behalf of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP).

The species, listed as ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, has been reintroduced into the Parklands, a 100-hectare fenced, predator-free site.

DELWP Senior Biodiversity Officer Richard Hill said: “The bandicoot program at the Hamilton Community Parklands is part of a broader ongoing plan to increase their numbers.”

“Over three days this week 120 bandicoot traps were set at 60 sites across the enclosure.”

“Our recovery team captured 30 individual Eastern Barred Bandicoots, and from this we can estimate that there would be 50 to 80 bandicoots across the Hamilton Parklands.”

“This represents a significant increase over the last 12 months, as the population was almost non-existent before 23 bandicoots were released into the enclosure in March last year.”

"By the end of this year, we expect that the size of the bandicoot population will reach the maximum for the enclosure of 100 to 200 animals.”

"This will make a strong contribution to the statewide recovery population target of 2,500 animals.”

“Some of the Eastern Barred Bandicoots bred at the Hamilton Parklands will be used to help establish up to three more sites in Victoria over the next three years.”

This monitoring project was run by DELWP and Conservation Volunteers.

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery team also included members from Mt Rothwell Biodiversity Interpretation Centre, National Trust of Australia, Parks Victoria, Phillip Island Nature Parks, the University of Melbourne and Tiverton Property Partners.

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot reintroduction program at Hamilton is supported by the Glenelg Hopkins Catchment Management Authority through the Australian Government's National Landcare Program, Zoos Victoria, Conservation Volunteers and DELWP.

Read more about the Eastern Barred Bandicoot and recovery program (PDF, 548.8 KB).