The long nosed bandicoot is a fascinating animal and I was happy to have been able to experience a small number of sightings in my backyard late in 2012. For some reason, one day the bandicoots just stopped visiting in early December that year and I’ve not seen them since, which is a shame.
I remember clearly when I first saw a bandicoot – it was very late at night, I was watching TV and suddenly the cats were jumping up at the glass sliding door going nuts. I went to investigate and turned on the outside light and saw this strange animal snuffling its way along the veranda, quite oblivious to me and the cats watching it go about its business. I then looked on the internet for some info about bandicoots and I found out that apart from their usual fare of grubs and insects, bandicoots like to eat sultanas and unsalted peanuts. It turned out that the possums liked eating those too, so it was first in best dressed!
Because of all the excitement over our new visitors, my husband bought a cheap outdoor night motion camera and we set it up on the veranda and were able to capture some footage of these wonderful creatures. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to use and most of the footage is overexposed or missed whatever set it off, but here is one of the best videos, captured on 23 Aug 2012 at 4.34am. The bandicoot is sniffing the watermelon rinds left behind by the possums earlier in the night. Turn up the volume!
Did you hear its claws clicking along the wooden veranda as it ran off? They have long claws for digging up their food of roots, fungi, grubs, beetles, insects etc. They’re omnivores so will also eat seeds and fruit.
And if the bandicoot’s behaviour reminded you of a bilby, that’s because they’re related.
I took the video below on my old mobile phone on 16 Nov 2012, and in it you can see that it’s a female bandicoot with a bulging pouch. Watch closely and you’ll distinctly see the babies moving around inside!
Below is a video taken on a compact digital camera on 13 Nov 2012 and taken through a glass sliding door. In it you will see a male and female bandicoot. The male is the larger one and the female is the smaller one with the heavy pouch.
It was amazing to have seen these bandicoots, especially up so close. It’s very disappointing that they just stopped visiting all of a sudden. I hate to think what could have happened to this bandicoot family. They have so many predators to deal with – like foxes, snakes, feral cats, domestic dogs and cats that are let loose instead of being kept in the yard, as well as humans and their motorised vehicles – it must be a very tough life for them indeed.
In the ever developing urban sprawl, what chances do our unique and beautiful native animals have to survive……