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Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot - Perameles gunnii (mainland subspecies)

Mandy Watson, Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria
Merril Halley, Zoological Parks and Gardens Board Victoria, April 2000

Note: This publication has been superseded by the National Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (mainland) Perameles gunnii unnamed subspecies

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Contents


Acknowledgements

This Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii has been developed from earlier versions of recovery plans prepared for the species and from discussions with members of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team, staff of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE), the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria (ZPGB), Parks Victoria (PV) and members of the community. In particular Gary Backhouse (NRE), John Seebeck (NRE) and Adrian Moorrees (NRE) provided extensive comments. Michael Lynch (ZPGB), Peter Myroniuk (ZPGB), Gary Slater (ZPGB), Ian Walker (PV), Kay Aldridge (Friends of the EBB Hamilton), Neil Murray (La Trobe University), and Di Marshall (NRE) provided additional information, their contributions are also acknowledged.


Summary

Current species status

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is one of Victoria's most endangered mammals. Formerly widespread across the basalt plains of south-western Victoria, the species had declined to a single remnant wild population on the verge of extinction by 1991. An intensive recovery effort which included predator control, habitat management, captive breeding and reintroductions was initiated to halt the decline and recover the species, and has resulted in a greatly reduced extinction threat. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot now survives in seven reintroduced populations, a healthy captive breeding population and a remnant wild population. Despite this progress, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is still highly conservation-dependent; if current recovery actions cease, the situation would quickly become critical in Victoria once again.

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is currently considered 'Endangered' in Victoria (CNR 1995) (NRE 1998) and is listed as 'Threatened' under the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988. The species is listed as 'Vulnerable' under the Commonwealth Endangered Species Protection Act 1992 - this listing reflects the status of the species nationally (i.e. both Tasmania and Victoria) and does not distinguish between the two populations. In a more recent review, the mainland taxon of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot was considered 'Critically Endangered' in The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell et al. 1996). Using the IUCN (the World Conservation Union) Red List Categories and Criteria (1994), the species is clearly 'Critically Endangered' (Criteria codes; A 1 a b e, B 1 and 3 d, C 2 a)

Habitat requirements and Limiting Factors

On mainland Australia the original native habitat for P. gunnii was primarily native perennial tussock grasslands with scattered open woodlands and shrub cover, particularly along watercourses (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989; Dufty 1994). In recent years the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has survived in highly modified habitats which are often dominated by weed species.

The range of threats facing the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is considerable. In addition to loss of natural habitat the species has suffered direct losses caused by rabbit trapping, predation by introduced carnivores, particularly domestic and feral Cats Felis catus, domestic Dogs Canis familiaris and the Red Fox Vulpes vulpes. Mortality resulting from collisions with motor vehicles, disease, particularly Toxoplasmosis spread by cats, and the suspected involvement of pesticides has affected the species (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989; Lenghaus et al. 1990; Seebeck et al. 1990). Fires and drought also represent a potential threat to the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

Recovery Objectives

Short-term goals

The goals of the recovery program during 2000-2002 are to:

Recovery Criteria

Long-term goals

The long-term Goal of the recovery program for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is to restore the species to the wild in Victoria.

Recovery Criterion

Specific Recovery Objectives and Actions

Estimated cost of recovery ($000s)

Objective

2000/01

2000/02

Total

1

63.3

63.3

126.6

2

207.1

207.1

414.2

3

12.8

12.8

25.6

4

44

44

88

5

42.6

42.6

85.2

6

37.5

47.1

84.6

Grand Total

525.9

535.5

1,061.4

Biodiversity benefits

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is one of many species of threatened plants and animals occurring in the remnant grasslands and grassy woodlands of south-western Victoria. Over 99% of these habitats have been destroyed, with the little remaining often restricted to small, fragmented remnants. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is a flagship species for biodiversity conservation of the western basalt plains, and conservation actions for the bandicoot will also assist conservation of other threatened species and communities. Successful reintroductions on private farming land will assist rural nature conservation by further demonstrating that direct contributions to conservation can be made by the community. The protection of remnant habitat, especially native grasslands and grassy woodlands, the provision of shelter belts of native trees and shrubs and the protection or provision of wetland areas on farms can be promoted through the Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program.


1. Introduction

1.1 Description

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot belongs to the marsupial family Peramelidae. It is a rabbit-sized, terrestrial mammal with a body length of about 300 mm, a tail about 110 mm long, and weighs up to around 1100 g, with an average of about 800 g. Coloration is grey-brown to buff above, somewhat paler on the sides, pale grey to white below and with three or four pale bars on the hindquarters (giving rise to the common name) (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989).

1.2 Distribution

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is restricted to south-eastern Australia. In Tasmania it is found in the east and north (Mallick et al. 1997). On the Australian mainland, the species occurred from near Melbourne through south-western Victoria to the South Australian border, and in the far south-eastern corner of South Australia, occupying a total range of about three million ha (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989; Kemper 1990). Since European settlement the species has undergone a widespread, sustained and catastrophic decline in range and abundance on the mainland. It is now believed to be extinct in South Australia, with the last recorded specimen taken there in the late 1800s (Kemper 1990). In Victoria it has been reduced to a single remnant population in the western basalt plains (Seebeck 1979). In Tasmania the species is still widely distributed although it has suffered a reduction in numbers, primarily through loss of habitat, and is still declining in some areas (Mallick et al. 1997).

1.2 Taxonomy

Molecular investigation by Robinson et al. (1993) indicated that the Tasmanian and mainland populations of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot are as distinct genetically as defined sub-species. This has not yet been reflected in any formal taxonomic designation of subspecies. However, it should be noted that this recovery plan deals with the mainland population only.

1.3 Habitat

On mainland Australia the original native habitat for P. gunnii was primarily native perennial tussock grasslands with scattered open woodlands and shrub cover, particularly along watercourses (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989; Dufty 1994). In recent years the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has survived in highly modified habitats such as tree plantations, farmland, gardens, parklands, a rubbish tip and a cemetery, areas often dominated by weed species such as European gorse and spiny rush (Brown 1989; Dufty 1994). The key feature of these sites seems to have been areas of dense cover adjacent to suitable feeding habitat.

1.4 Life history and ecology

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is relatively short-lived, usually surviving only two-three years in the wild. However, it makes up for this with a high reproductive rate. Gestation lasts 12-13 days, with litters of one to five young (with an average of two to three) being produced. The young bandicoots remain in the pouch for about 55 days, becoming independent and dispersing about three months after birth. Females may breed from four months of age, and can give birth to another litter immediately after the previous one has been weaned. Reproduction may occur throughout the year, being depressed during late summer, and ceases altogether during times of drought. In favourable conditions, a single female is capable of producing three (sometimes more) litters per year (Seebeck 1979).

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is generally solitary, although young animals stay with the female until independence. It is crepuscular and nocturnal, resting during the day in grass-lined nests it constructs. Diet consists largely soil surface and sub-surface invertebrates such as earthworms, beetles, field crickets and caterpillars. Some plant material, including bulbs and fruit, is also eaten (Brown 1989; Dufty 1991). Population dynamics are not well known. Densities of up to eight animals per ha have been reported, but about 1.5 animals per ha has been suggested as an average in the wild in Victoria. Home range varies, with males occupying up to 20 ha and females up to four ha (Minta et al. 1990; Dufty 1994).

1.5 Reasons for listing

The decline of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot almost certainly began with European settlement of the western plains for agriculture from the mid-1830s. The species was still relatively widespread and even common in some districts up to 1930, but after that time there were fewer records and from a much smaller area (Brown 1989). For example, records from Mt. Gellibrand near Colac indicated a decline of the bandicoot population there from abundant to extinction between 1903 and the 1950s (Seebeck 1979). By 1972, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot had become extinct throughout its mainland range, except for a small population surviving in the vicinity of the City of Hamilton in western Victoria (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989).

The population at Hamilton continued to decline. In the 1970s it occurred over about 3000 ha, with perhaps over 1000 individuals present. The area occupied declined to about 1400 ha by 1985, and to about 600 ha by 1988, with the population declining to between 180 to 220 animals. Annual population monitoring commenced at Hamilton during 1989. In that year, 52 individuals were captured. In 1990, 16 individuals were captured, while in 1991 only three individuals were captured. The last remaining wild population of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot on mainland Australia was on the verge of extinction (Brown 1989; Seebeck et al. 1990; Clark and Goldstraw 1991; Clark et al. 1995b).

The range of threats facing the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is considerable and formidable. Extensive habitat alteration and destruction occurred through clearing woodlands, establishment of exotic pasture grasses, grazing by domestic stock, altered fire regimes, addition of fertilisers, introduction of rabbits, and closer settlement. Over 99% of the state's native grasslands and grassy woodlands, in which the species formerly occurred, have disappeared (Scarlett et al. 1992). Direct losses have been caused by rabbit trapping, predation by introduced carnivores, particularly domestic and feral Cats Felis catus, domestic Dogs Canis familiaris and the Red Fox Vulpes vulpes, mortality from collisions with motor vehicles, the impacts of disease, particularly Toxoplasmosis spread by cats, and the suspected impacts of pesticides on the bandicoots and their invertebrate food supply (Seebeck 1979; Brown 1989; Lenghaus et al. 1990; Seebeck et al. 1990). Fires and drought also represent a potential threat to the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.

1.6 Existing conservation measures

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot has been the subject of a prolonged recovery effort aimed at halting its decline and restoring the species to sites within its former range. A considerable amount of time and effort has been expended on bandicoot recovery by many organisations, agencies and individuals (Brown 1989; Arnold et al. 1990; Seebeck 1990; Backhouse et al. 1994b. The following is a summary of the principal activities undertaken to date to recover the species.

Wild population management at Hamilton

Initially, much of the focus for Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery concentrated on Hamilton. A recovery program commenced in 1982 with the production of the first (interim) management prescriptions aimed at conserving the species (Seebeck 1982). Active management commenced with the enhancement and development of habitat. Since then, considerable effort has been expended on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program at Hamilton (Arnold et al. 1990). Community groups were formed to promote bandicoot conservation and assist in recovery actions. Habitat was developed and extended through the provision of habitat strips, hard shelters and land purchase. Predator control was addressed through trapping, shooting and the promotion of responsible pet ownership. Road warning signs and reflectors were installed to reduce road mortality. Community workshops were held and information displays and brochures were prepared to assist in community education. Despite these considerable efforts, bandicoot numbers and range declined steadily, and by 1991 only a handful still survived (Clark and Goldstraw 1991; Clark et al. 1995b). Subsequently the emphasis on recovery shifted from Hamilton where management problems were deemed to be largely intractable.

Captive breeding

Captive breeding was first carried out at the 'Serendip' Wildlife Research Station in 1972, although primarily for research purposes rather than breeding for reintroductions (Seebeck 1979). Some animals escaped from the pens and persisted for several years in the grounds of Serendip, but eventually died out, and the colony was closed down in 1979. Another captive colony was established in large pens at Woodlands Historic Park in 1988 and captive breeding was carried out in earnest to produce offspring for release into the nature reserve. Although large numbers of bandicoots were produced, recruitment was lower than expected (Watson 1991; Myroniuk 1995), and the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria assumed responsibility for captive breeding in 1992, using intensively-managed facilities to breed bandicoots for reintroductions. Bandicoots have since been bred for the recovery program at Healesville Sanctuary, Melbourne Zoo, Werribee Zoo and Kyabram Fauna Park in Victoria, Monarto Fauna Complex in South Australia and Taronga and Western Plains Zoos in New South Wales. The populations have been managed to maintain high genetic diversity from the 38 founders, with 96% founder heterozygosity retention indicated. Since January 1992, over 450 bandicoots have been bred in captivity, of which 300 have been released at seven reintroduction sites, the remainder used for captive breeding. A studbook was established to manage the captive population (Myroniuk 1993), and a husbandry manual prepared to standardise captive management amongst the organisations holding bandicoots (Kingston 1998).

Reintroductions

During the last seven years the major focus for recovery of P. gunnii has been on reintroduction. The first two reintroductions were into extensive, fenced enclosures, resulting in the establishment of wild, although confined populations, while subsequent reintroductions have been at unfenced sites to enable the establishment of free-ranging populations. Monitoring programs at release sites have been designed to monitor fluctuations and determine persistence and condition of animals rather than give a direct indication of numbers. However, trapping rates, reproductive condition, health, recruitment and turnover of animals can give a guide to minimum numbers and general condition of populations. The following is a discussion of the progress of each reintroduction to date in chronological order.

Woodlands Historic Park

Woodlands Historic Park is a reserve of 645 ha on the outskirts of Melbourne, managed by Parks Victoria. Within the park a nature reserve encompasses 400 ha of open grassy woodland. The reserve is enclosed by a 1.8 m high electrified predator control fence, and was chosen as the first reintroduction site for Eastern Barred Bandicoots in Victoria. Progeny from animals placed into large breeding pens on site in 1988 were to be released into the nature reserve. The first deliberate release into the nature reserve occurred in April 1989 and a total of 88 animals were subsequently released (Dufty et al. 1995). In addition to the deliberate releases, some escaped from the breeding pens, the combined effect of which was a successful population establishment, which by 1994 had occupied the entire nature reserve.

Monitoring in November 1993 resulted in 331 individuals being recorded (Seebeck and Bowley 1994), and subsequent trapping results indicated densities of several animals per ha in parts of the reserve. Monitoring results were used to model population size using the 'Capture' program . Based on these figures, the population was probably 4-500 bandicoots at that time, making the Woodlands population the largest single group of Eastern Barred Bandicoots on mainland Australia. Over 100 bandicoots were subsequently trapped and removed from Woodlands Historic Park, between 1995 and 1997, mostly for release at new reintroduction sites, with a few to replace aging breeders in the captive population.

The very dry spring, summer and autumn of 1996/97 reduced breeding and probably food supply, and a population decline at Woodlands Historic Park coincided with increasing numbers of kangaroos and rabbits there. The removal of cover caused by overbrowsing by kangaroos and rabbits, combined with the dry conditions and lack of reproduction inevitably contributed to a dramatic decline in density and numbers trapped in 1997 (Seebeck and Perlen unpubl. data). By August 1998, trapping rates had drastically reduced to zero.

Culling of kangaroos has recently been undertaken at the park and rabbit control stepped up. Vegetation at the site is recovering rapidly. Now that the kangaroo problem has been addressed and a Kangaroo Management Strategy is in place, bandicoots are being re-established. Eight bandicoots were released into the old breeding pens in July 1999 and this was followed up with a release of 33 bandicoots into the reserve in December 1999.

Hamilton Community Parklands

The Hamilton Community Parklands is an area of 210 ha on the northern perimeter of Hamilton. Within the Parklands, a 1.8 m high electrified predator control fence was constructed around an area of 100 ha of native grassy woodlands under a community initiative promoted by the Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning. During 1990 and 1991, 28 bandicoots were released into the fenced reserve. The population increased to about 90 animals during 1993, but monitoring during 1994 indicated a significant decline. A further 28 bandicoots were released during April and May 1995 to supplement the population, after upgraded predator control. The releases boosted numbers for a time but recent trapping and field observations indicate a declining population once more.

At 100 has in area, the Parklands is possibly too small to allow the establishment of a viable population. However, it does provide a focus for community participation in bandicoot conservation in Hamilton, particularly for the 'Friends' group who have assisted with tasks such as park maintenance, population monitoring, predator control and community information. Being located adjacent to an urban area also means that problems of high visitor use and interference need to be managed. The continued presence of bandicoots in the Parklands will be dependent upon community care of the reserve, and ongoing monitoring and management of the population to prevent problems inherent in small populations such as predation, skewed age and sex ratios.

'Mooramong'

'Mooramong' is a 1500 ha farming property owned and managed by the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) near Skipton, 170 km west of Melbourne. Within the property is a 200 ha nature reserve (130 ha of wetlands, 70 ha of grass and shrubland). The nature reserve is surrounded only by a stock-proof fence, so bandicoots are truly free-ranging and predators are not excluded. The property was the site for the first wild release, in December 1992, and a total of 85 bandicoots were released to June 1994. Survival of released adults was high, at over 50% during the first six months of release; reproduction occurred within three months of release; and the first wild-bred young were breeding within one year of the first release. The bandicoots established successfully and have since occupied almost all suitable habitat including gardens around the homestead. Steady breeding and recruitment have been observed within the population, which has not been supplemented by additional reintroductions for six years.

Extensive predator control at Mooramong is maintained through poison baiting, shooting and den flooding. The local 'LandCare' group, with assistance from NRE, have employed a local fox control facilitator to co-ordinate fox control on properties in the district around 'Mooramong' and at the Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve release site. As an indication of the high numbers of predators in the district, an estimated 50 foxes (and several cats) are killed in and around 'Mooramong' each year.

Over the past 18 - 24 months monitoring has indicated a reduction in the size and distribution of the Mooramong population and this is thought to be the result of a severe lack of rainfall in the district experienced during this time. Further investigation into the effect of drought on the species in reintroduced situations is required.

Floating Islands Nature Reserve

Floating Islands Nature Reserve is a small reserve of 85 ha, 20 km west of Colac, managed by Parks Victoria. The reserve, named for the drifting rafts of floating vegetation in one of the small wetlands, consists of a mosaic of open grasslands and dense shrublands and woodlands on stony basalt rises interspersed with swampy depressions.

The first release of bandicoots at Floating Islands occurred in September 1994, and a total of 50 bandicoots were released to June 1997. The first pouch young were recorded in December 1994. Predator control activities were maintained on the reserve and surrounding farmland, but over time this work has proven difficult to maintain. Only three wild-bred bandicoots have been trapped, and trapping rates have declined since the early releases, although regular trapping has proved difficult due to the rugged nature of the terrain. Monitoring indicated that only one bandicoot remained at the site by June 1999 and this animal, a female, was transferred to the Hamilton Community Parklands site on 18 June. Monitoring for bandicoot presence continues twice per year and a minimal predator control program remains in place.

Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve

Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve, located 50 km west of Ballarat is another Parks Victoria reserve. It is 870 ha in area, most of which is a shallow temporary lake, dry for much of the time but filling in years of high rainfall. The reserve includes some 150 ha of high dry land, including an isthmus of 100 ha projecting into the lake. The isthmus was selected as the release site for bandicoots.

The first release at Lake Goldsmith occurred in October 1994, with a total of 62 bandicoots released to October 1998. Breeding occurred within six months of the first release, and the first wild-bred animals were trapped 10 months after release. Trapping rates remained relatively stable for at least two years without supplementation but the population appeared to decline during the early part of 1998, this was most likely to be the result of the drought. The population was boosted with a release of 18 in October 1998, resulting in an improvement in trapping results.

Reserve neighbours have been supportive of the bandicoot release and are involved in predator control and habitat development on adjoining properties. Local hunting organisations have also assisted in predator control. Ongoing control of Phalaris is required to promote native vegetation establishment. The reserve is surrounded by farmland and there is opportunity for dispersal away from the release site into shelterbelts and dense habitat along local roads. With effective predator control, there is a good chance bandicoots could become established in the district.

'Lanark'

'Lanark' is a privately-owned, diversified farming property located at Branxholme, 30 km south-west of Hamilton. Of the 800 ha of this property, 63 ha of seasonal and permanent wetlands and 48 ha of revegetated shelterbelts and bush blocks have been established, the remainder being open paddocks running sheep and stands of timber for commercial tree farming.

Bandicoots were first released at Lanark in November 1994, and a total of 55 animals released to June 1997. Breeding occurred within three months, and the first wild-bred animals were caught two years after the first release. Trapping results indicate good reproduction and recruitment, with a total of 38 bandicoots bred at Lanark being micro-chipped to date. The population has increased it's range with bandicoots moving into the gardens around the homestead.

A program of extensive feral predator control is carried out on 'Lanark' and on neighbouring properties by the landholders. The owners and some neighbours have been very supportive of the bandicoot reintroduction. As with other free-ranging release sites, prospects for the establishment of a viable population are very good, given continuing predator control and an increase in habitat areas for the bandicoots underway.

Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve

Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve is an area of 500 ha, managed by Parks Victoria. It contains a variety of vegetation types including remnant native grasslands and grassy woodlands, with plantations of native (non-indigenous) and exotic trees. The first release of 30 bandicoots occurred in April 1997, with a total of 105 released to December 1998. Trapping rates, initially remained relatively stable but recently have been disappointing. Some recent radio-tracking work has indicated a predation level higher than anticipated. Predator control has been stepped up but will need to remain intense and sustained to support this reintroduction.

Cobra Killuc is the only large conservation reserve in south-western Victoria suitable for bandicoot reintroduction, and reintroduction has the support from neighbouring landholders, who have recently formed a Friends Group.

Table 1: Reintroduction sites and numbers of bandicoots released.

Location

Numbers released

Period of release

Woodlands Historic Park

129

1989 - 1999

Hamilton Community Parklands

75

1990 - 1995

'Mooramong'

85

1992 - 1995

Floating Islands Nature Reserve

50

1994 - 1997

Lake Goldsmith Wildlife Reserve

80

1994 - 1998

'Lanark'

55

1994 - 1997

Cobra Killuc Wildlife Reserve

105

1998 - 1999

TOTAL

578*

 

* Not all bandicoots released were captive bred. Some were translocated from other sites.

Health Management

Maintaining the health of captive and field populations has been an important aspect of recovery efforts, given the large number of animals trapped, handled and transported on a routine basis, and the implication of disease in the decline of bandicoots in the wild. Field and captive managers work closely with veterinary experts on many aspects of bandicoot health management. Major projects have included health monitoring of captive and field populations, post-mortem of dead bandicoots, treatment of injured bandicoots, and analysis of injuries and mortality to improve trapping, handling and transport procedures. Post-mortem examinations revealed that most bandicoots found dead at field sites were killed by predators, usually foxes. These examinations remain an important tool for monitoring the health of free-ranging populations and the effectiveness of predator control. Retrieving bodies from the wild is rare unless populations are intensively monitored. Meaningful investigation of disease and mortality will therefore require extra effort such as radio-tracking. A major report on mortality and morbidity in Eastern Barred Bandicoots was prepared (Booth and McCracken 1994). This included a summary of many years of trapping data, an analysis of injury patterns, and recommended measures designed to alleviate trapping injuries. Other work included radio-transmitter attachment and dietary studies of captive animals. Seebeck and Booth (1996) reviewed the input of veterinary management in the recovery program.

The good husbandry and field practices adopted and maintained has resulted in a very low level of avoidable deaths and injuries. These techniques have been incorporated into a Field Manual (Seebeck 1997) to standardise trapping, handling and transport of bandicoots. The significance of disease in wild populations is unknown but field mortalities caused by Toxoplasmosis have been reported in Tasmanian population (Obendorf et al. 1996) and have also been diagnosed in bandicoots from the Hamilton Community Parklands population. The impact of this disease in Victoria is currently not known. A recent study at Cobra Killuc failed to show any pattern, due to a low recovery of released bandicoots. There is a need to be vigilant for possible disease-related mortality in Victoria, and cat control is a priority at all reintroduction sites.

Investigations into the diet of wild Eastern Barred Bandicoots will provide information for improved matching of nutrients in captive diets. A review of the captive diet will be undertaken as information comes to hand.

Research

A wide variety of research on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has been undertaken over the last two decades, including distribution and status (Seebeck 1979), biology and ecology (Brown 1989; Dufty 1991, 1994, Jenkins 1998), population monitoring (Minta et al. 1990; Sherwin and Brown 1990), population viability assessment (Lacy and Clark 1990), habitat analysis (Dufty 1991; Reading et al. 1996) and genetic research (Robinson et al. 1993). The recovery program has provided a valuable opportunity for university student research projects, including dietary analysis, invertebrate abundance, habitat use and home range. Genetic analysis of the substantial store of DNA material from the original wild, captive and reintroduced populations will commence as soon as funding is available. Work on development of a health condition index to be used in the field has commenced. Further work on population dynamics and ecology at release sites is needed to assist with establishment of viable populations.

Community Participation

Community participation in Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation has been instrumental in highlighting the plight of the species and implementation of recovery measures. Community interest in the species crystallised during the studies of Brown (1989) when habitat management works and predator control started. Community-based 'bandicoot action groups' were established to undertake local habitat management and predator control, and community groups were represented on the Hamilton Recovery Team (Arnold et al. 1990). The establishment of the reintroduced population in the Hamilton Community Parklands was the result of a community initiative, through the Hamilton Institute of Rural Learning. The 'Friends of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot' group was formed in 1991 and assisted in management projects, bandicoot releases, monitoring programs and habitat management in and around Hamilton, providing information on bandicoots, assisting in predator control and management and leading guided walks at Hamilton Community Parklands. With the broadening of the recovery effort beyond Hamilton, other community groups including the 'Friends of Woodlands Historic Park', the 'Friends of Mooramong' and the Friends of 'Cobra Killuc', and local community groups such as 'LandCare' groups and hunting clubs are involved in local conservation works, habitat provision and predator control for bandicoots. The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has also participated in bandicoot releases onto its property 'Mooramong'.

Community education strategies were prepared for several reintroduction sites, to provide information about the bandicoot releases and provide an opportunity for community involvement. Community support has been instrumental in the establishment of bandicoots at all reintroduction sites thus far. A regular newsletter on the recovery program was widely distributed for a time, a variety of posters and brochures on Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation were prepared and distributed, and bandicoot conservation regularly promoted at community events and through education activities. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot also has an important focus in many education programs conducted by the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board Education Service. Tens of thousands of students each year from Prep to Year 12 are made aware of Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation issues. A range of subjects from habitat awareness to the application of biotechnology in captive breeding programs, is taught across the Board's three properties (Melbourne Zoo, Healesville Sanctuary and Victoria's Open Range Zoo at Werribee).

Publications

Reports and papers on many aspects of Eastern Barred Bandicoot biology, conservation and management have been prepared, many of which are included in the Reference section of this plan. Several books that include key papers on Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation are Bandicoots and Bilbies (Seebeck et al. 1990), Management and Conservation of Small Populations (Clark and Seebeck 1990), Endangered Species Recovery - Finding the Lessons, Improving the Process (Clark et al. 1994), Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna (Serena 1995) and People and Nature Conservation (Bennett et al. 1995). An extensive bibliography of all papers, reports and related information, both published and unpublished, on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has been prepared (Seebeck and Patrick 1997). These reports and papers provide a detailed record and wealth of information on bandicoot conservation and also include many issues applicable to broader biodiversity conservation goals.

Cooperative Conservation

A feature of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program has been the involvement of a wide range of organisations, agencies and individuals at an international, national, state and regional level in the recovery effort. The importance of the partnership between government and the community has been highlighted, and the cooperative partnership between the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and the Zoological Parks and Gardens Board of Victoria has been central in reversing bandicoot decline. Other organisations such as the Northern Rockies Conservation Cooperative, Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and Chicago Zoological Society have made substantial contributions in expanding the range of expertise available to the recovery effort. A great deal of the research on the species has been undertaken by universities including Melbourne, La Trobe, Deakin and Ballarat. The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) has supported the reintroduction at its property 'Mooramong'. The South Australian Department of Environment, Heritage and Aboriginal Affairs, the Zoological Parks Board of New South Wales and Kyabram Fauna Park (Victoria) have assisted by breeding bandicoots for reintroductions in Victoria.

Program Review

The review process has been instrumental in improvements to the recovery program over the last five to ten years (Clark et al. 1995a). With the extensive decline of the last remaining wild population at Hamilton in 1991 despite many years of intensive effort aimed at recovery, a major review and evaluation of the recovery program was held (Reading et al. 1992). This review was important in identifying problems with the recovery effort to date and proposing a range of solutions, and resulted in new program directions being set. Since that time, program reviews have been held annually, as well as regular informal reviews by recovery teams and operations groups.

Recovery Team

The first recovery teams were formally constituted in 1989, after release of the Management Plan (Brown 1989; Seebeck 1990). A State Recovery Team was formed to be the overall strategic planning group for bandicoot recovery, and a Hamilton Recovery Team was formed to coordinate planning and public involvement at the local level and provide a focus for local issues to feed into the State Recovery Team. In 1992 these recovery teams were replaced with a Core Decision Group, comprising senior managers from the principal agencies involved in recovery (Backhouse 1992). This group was supported by several operations groups, comprising field and captive management staff and project officers with much of the day-to-day responsibility for implementing the Recovery Plan. A new Recovery Team, including members of all the operations groups, was formed in 1993 to manage the recovery program across all properties and field sites. The Recovery Team concentrates on preparing and monitoring implementation of the recovery plan and strategic planning.

The current Recovery Team comprises:

Mandy Watson - Convenor

Flora and Fauna Planner, NRE, Warrnambool

John Seebeck

Senior Wildlife Policy Officer, NRE, Melbourne

Merril Halley

Keeper In Charge Healesville Sanctuary

Peter Myroniuk

Species Management Officer Melbourne Zoo

Kay Aldridge

Friends of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Hamilton

Ian Walker

Chief Environmental Ranger, Parks Victoria, Ballarat

Day-to-day implementation and operations are the responsibility of the operations groups, the Field and Captive Management Working Groups.

Recovery Planning

A variety of planning processes have been used to guide recovery of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot. The first (interim) management prescriptions were prepared in 1982 (Seebeck 1982) in an attempt to conserve the species at Hamilton. A draft management plan was published in 1987, and the final plan was released in 1989 (Brown 1989). The first Action Statement was prepared in 1991 (Fisher and Norman 1991) and a new recovery plan for the species in Victoria was prepared in 1992 (Backhouse 1992). Subsequent recovery plans were prepared in 1993, 1995, and 1997 and the revised Action Statement was published in 1996 (Backhouse and Crosthwaite 1995).

1.7 Strategy for recovery

During the last seven years, the recovery program for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot has concentrated on captive breeding and reintroduction. After the successful establishment of populations at Woodlands Historic Park and Mooramong, five other sites were quickly initiated. It appeared that provided it was supported by good predator control, reintroduction to both fenced and unfenced areas could be successful. However, over the last 12 months declining populations have been observed at a number of reintroduction sites, and it appears that drought is the primary cause, undoubtedly exacerbated by predation. The program is now entering a new phase where closer investigation of the relationship between the bandicoots and their new environments is needed.

The main thrust of the recovery program during the next three years will be to closely investigate survival of Eastern Barred Bandicoots released in to the wild, determine optimum conditions required by the species for successful long-term establishment of sustainable populations, develop success criteria and use this information to consolidate a minimum of four field populations. Captive breeding to support reintroduction will continue during this time. The long-term conservation of the species in Victoria is dependent upon the continuation and expansion of free-ranging wild reintroductions. Until such time as a national approach to fox control is developed and implemented (e.g. through biological control or immuno-sterilisation), the commitment to feral predator control at all reintroduction sites will be the key to successful re-establishment in the wild.


2. Recovery Objectives and Criteria

2.1 Overall objectives

Short-term goals

The goals of the recovery program during 2000-2002 are to:

Recovery Criteria

Long-term goals

The long-term goal of the recovery program for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is to restore the species to the wild in Victoria.

Recovery Criterion

2.2 Specific objectives

  1. Maintain a captive population of Eastern Barred Bandicoots to provide offspring for reintroductions.
  2. Achieve viable populations at four reintroduction sites by 2002.
  3. Maintain the health of captive and wild populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
  4. Investigate the genetic diversity of captive and wild populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots.
  5. Broaden community participation and awareness of Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation.
  6. Manage the Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program.

3. Recovery Actions

Objective 1 Maintain a captive population of Eastern Barred Bandicoots to provide offspring for reintroductions

Action 1.1 Maintain a captive population of bandicoots

The current level of 18 breeding pairs of bandicoots held in at least four locations will be maintained, aiming to produce at least 50 bandicoots per year for the next three years for reintroduction.

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

60,600

60,600

121,200

Action 1.2 Manage the captive breeding program

The age structure and heterozygosity of the captive population will be monitored and managed to ensure that a viable captive population is maintained. Heterozygosity will be managed so that at least 90% founder representation is retained. Metapopulation management will be undertaken in conjunction with the Field Management Working Group. Contingency and termination plans for the captive program will be developed to deal with reduced breeding performance or catastrophe in the event that captive-bred animals will be no longer required.

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

1,500

1,500

3,000

Action 1.3 Revise pre-release conditioning protocols

Techniques for conditioning of captive-bred bandicoots prior to release will be refined, using information on fates and survival rates of bandicoots, as closer monitoring of released animals is undertaken. The conditioning technique is aimed at ensuring that the bandicoots are adapted to foraging for natural food items.

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

700

700

1,400

Action 1.4 Revise diet of bandicoots in captivity

Information gained from field investigations into conditions required for establishment of sustainable wild populations will be used for matching nutrient levels in diets of captive bandicoots. A review of the captive diet will then be carried out and an improved diet will be implemented if necessary.

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

500

500

1,000

Objective 2 Achieve viable populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots at four reintroduction sites by 2002.

Action 2.1 Develop population targets and success criteria to guide reintroduction of bandicoots into the wild

An assessment of the outcomes of all reintroductions to date will be carried out. Population Viability Analysis (PVA) will be used in the development of population targets and success criteria for reintroduction sites. Together with information provided by appropriate monitoring, these targets and criteria will be used to guide reintroduction to consolidate four of the best sites by 2002.

Responsibility: NRE

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

4,000

4,000

8,000

Action 2.2 Undertake reintroductions to consolidate four sites

The goal of this recovery plan is to consolidate four populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots. Population targets and success criteria developed under Action 2.1 above will be used to guide releases at the four best sites over the next three years. Reintroduction priorities will be regularly reviewed by the Field Management Working Group in consultation with the Captive Management Working Group and carried out as needed.

Responsibility: NRE

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

22,600

22,600

45,200

Action 2.3 Monitor reintroduced bandicoots at all sites

A standardised monitoring program will be developed and implemented across all field sites. This program will provide basic comparable presence/absence information as well as an indication of population size and health, but primarily it will aim to allow the early detection of problems which may lead to population declines. Contingency plans will be developed to deal with major population declines, reduced breeding or substantially skewed sex ratios. Post-mortem examination of dead bandicoots is a very important tool for identifying causes of population decline, however, recovery of deceased wild bandicoots to date has proven to be very difficult. Therefore where a major population decline is observed, radio-tracking of individuals within the population may be necessary.

Responsibility: NRE, PV

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

107,200

107,200

214,400

Action 2.4 Accurately determine rates of survival and fates of released bandicoots and identify optimum conditions required for long-term establishment of sustainable wild populations

Reintroduction of bandicoots to a number of the areas chosen to date, has been successful. However, persistence of these populations without supplementation, over long periods of time, is still uncertain. An appropriate monitoring program will be developed and implemented at four sites which will closely investigate the survival rates and fates of reintroduced bandicoots. These investigations will also attempt to identify the optimum environmental conditions required for long-term establishment of viable populations. Intensive post-release monitoring, using radio-tracking, will necessarily be part of the monitoring program. Improved radio-transmitter attachment techniques for Eastern Barred Bandicoots will be investigated and may need to be further developed to enable tracking for extended periods of time.

Responsibility: NRE

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

73,850

73,850

147,700

Action 2.5 Carry out control of predators and management of competitors at all reintroduction sites

Predation of Eastern Barred Bandicoots by feral predators, particularly foxes and cats, and competition for habitat by kangaroos and rabbits can be significant limiting factors to the expansion of wild bandicoot populations. Optimum control programs for these species will be determined with the assistance of expert advice and implemented at all seven field sites. Once implemented these control programs will be continually maintained and updated using all latest technology available. A major review will be carried out every 12 months. Contingency plans will be developed and immediately implemented in the event of major population declines where predators or competitors are implicated. (Note: at this stage only predator and rabbit control programs have been costed. Costing for kangaroo management will be assessed once details of appropriate control programs have been finalised for this species. Costs for control of native competitors will be met by the responsible land managers)

Responsibility: NRE, PV

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

85,700

85,700

171,400

Objective 3 Maintain the health of captive and wild populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots

Maintenance of the health of captive and wild populations of bandicoots is essential to the program, given the implication of disease in the decline of the species. Health monitoring will include a database of mortalitites, injuries and treatments maintained, and the post-mortem examination of dead bandicoots. Field and captive managers will continue to work closely with veterinary experts. The impact of specific diseases, such as Toxoplasmosis, on reintroduced populations will be monitored opportunistically (for example: through blood sampling programs carried out on recently released animals).

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

12,800

12,800

25,600

Objective 4 Investigate the genetic diversity of the captive and wild populations of Eastern Barred Bandicoots

There is increasing evidence that maximising the genetic variation is important to the persistence of small populations and that inbreeding can substantially reduce the viability of even large populations of mammals (Lacy 1997). The Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program has been managed thus far to maximise the retained genetic variability in captivity of the original wild-caught founders (about 40 animals), with predictive models indicating retention of 96% of founder variability to date. There is now a great opportunity to use molecular analysis to test the genetic models used. The work has major implications for the recovery program including issues such as loss of genetic variation through current management processes, the effect of current captive management on heterozygosity and the variation that exists in reintroduced populations and their relative importance to the whole program.

Tissue samples from captive and field populations have been collected and stored, preserving biological material from a good representation of the original wild bandicoot population at Hamilton, the captive population, and now all seven reintroduced populations. Some work has commenced, and funding will be sought to allow this work to proceed in conjunction with the Centre for Conservation Genetics at La Trobe University. In the meantime, the collection of tissue samples from captive and field populations will continue.

Funding will be sought from external sources for a PhD student stipend and operating costs for the next three years to develop assays for microsatellite markers and mitochondrial DNA to carry out genetic analysis of stored material.

Responsibility: NRE, ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

44,000

44,000

88,000

Objective 5 Broaden community participation and awareness of Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation

Action 5.1 Broaden current level of community involvement in bandicoot conservation work to support all reintroduction sites and improve coordination of volunteer activities

For some time members of the general community have been directly involved in conservation of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot through habitat works, assistance with monitoring at reintroduction sites, predator control and interpretation and education work. Individuals and community groups who are regularly involved in the recovery program provide invaluable assistance with the day to day operation of the program, but also form an effective link between the organisation and the wider community. In Hamilton community members have taken up the challenge of lobbying local Government and the CFA regarding important issues such as cat control and habitat protection. This level of community involvement in the recovery program will continue to be supported in Hamilton and encouraged at other locations close to bandicoot populations. Support for general volunteer involvement with field activities will continue.

A Community Education Working Group (CEWG), made up of representatives of all friends groups and other interested individuals and organisations, will be formed. The convenor of this group will then represent the community on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team. This will allow greater coordination of volunteer activities across the program and will provide a formal link between the community and the Recovery Team, giving community members a greater opportunity to take part in the decision making process and to provide feedback to the community on issues surrounding Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation.

Funding is required to cover salary, mileage and associated personal expenses of a part-time community education officer to convene the CEWG four times per year and attend Recovery Team meetings as the community representative.

Responsibility: Community

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

60,950

60,950

121,900

Action 5.2 Improve communication and dissemination of recovery program information

The CEWG will be responsible for the preparation of a newsletter which will disseminate information on the progress of the recovery program to stakeholders and the wider community.

Funding is required for materials and stores and associated publication costs required for production and circulation of the newsletter and for the development of a web page.

Responsibility: Community

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

12,000

12,000

24,000

Objective 6 Manage the Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program.

Action 6.1 Operate Recovery Team

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program is large and complex and involves many organisations, agencies and individuals. It's current structure has proven to be the most effective and efficient for managing the recovery process and has recently been reviewed and updated to reflect recent organisational changes, and more adequately represent all agencies with an interest in and responsibility for Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation. This structure will remain in place but will be slightly expanded to include a specialist community education working group, should funding be made available (see Action 5.1).

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Team will continue to be responsible for preparing, coordinating and monitoring implementation of the recovery plan. It will maintain a strategic role, with one of it's main tasks to conduct the annual reviews, adjust the program where necessary and report on these reviews. The cost of running the Recovery Team will be met by the member organisations it represents.

Responsibility: NRE

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

12,600

12,600

25,200

Action 6.2 Operate the Field Management Working Group

The two existing operations groups (Field Management and Captive Management Working Groups) will continue to oversee the day-to-day implementation of the operational aspects of captive breeding and reintroduction to implement the Recovery Plan. The cost of running these groups will be met by the member organisations involved.

Responsibility: NRE

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

11,100

11,100

22,200

Action 6.3 Operate Captive Management Working Group

See above

Responsibility: ZPGB

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

2,800

2,800

5,600

Action 6.4 Operate Community Education Working Group

The role of the Community Education Working Group will be to formalise and coordinate community involvement and to extend the program's ability to inform and educate the public and stakeholders on it's progress.

Responsibility: Community

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

11,000

11,000

22,000

Action 6.5 Undertake a major review upon termination of the Recovery Plan in 2002

A two-day workshop attended by all representatives of all agencies involved in the recovery program will be held to in 2002 to conduct a review of the program's progress over the preceeding three years. The workshop will measure progress against the recovery criteria.

Responsibility: NRE, ZPGB, PV, Community

Costs

2000/01

2000/02

Total

Total

2,000

9,800

10,000


4. Bibliography

Arnold, A.H., Goldstraw, P., Hayes, A.G. and Wright, B.F. 1990. Recovery management of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in Victoria: The Hamilton conservation strategy. Pp 179-92 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T. W. Clark and J. H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Backhouse, G.N. and Crosthwaite, J. 1995. Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement No. 4 (revised). Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Victoria.

Backhouse, G.N. 1992. Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources: Victoria.

Backhouse, G.N., Clark, T.W. and Reading, R.P. 1994a. Reintroductions for recovery of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii in Victoria, Australia. Pp. 209-18 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna, ed by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Backhouse, G.N., Clark, T.W. and Reading, R.P. 1994b. The Australian Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program - evaluation and reorganisation. Pp. 251-71 in Endangered Species Recovery: Finding the Lessons, Improving the Process, ed by T. W. Clark, R. P. Reading and A. L. Clarke. Island Press: Washington, DC.

Bennett, A.F., Backhouse, G.N. and Clark, T.W. 1995. People and Nature Conservation. RoyalZoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.

Booth, R. and McCracken, H. 1994. Morbidity and Mortality Report for Eastern Barred Bandicoots Perameles gunnii 1990-1994. Melbourne Zoo: Melbourne.

Brown, P. R. 1989. Management plan for the conservation of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, in Victoria. ARIER Technical Report Series No. 63, Department of Conservation, Forests and Lands, Victoria.

Clark, T.W. and Goldstraw, P. 1991. Summary of Eastern Barred Bandicoot monitoring, Hamilton, Victoria, November 11-22, 1991. Department of Conservation and Environment, Victoria.

Clark, T.W. and Seebeck, J.H. (eds). 1990. Management and Conservation of Small Populations. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Clark, T.W., Reading, R.P. and Clarke., A.L. (eds). 1994. Endangered Species Recovery: Finding the Lessons, Improving the Process. Island Press: Washington, DC.

Clark, T.W., Backhouse, G.N. and Reading, R.P. 1995a. Prototyping in endangered species recovery programmes: the Eastern Barred Bandicoot experience. Pp. 50-62 in People and Nature Conservation, ed by A. Bennett, G. Backhouse and T. Clark. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.

Clark, T.W. Gibbs, J.P. and Goldstraw, P. 1995b. Some demographics of the extirpation from the wild of Eastern Barred Bandicoots (Perameles gunnii) in 1988-91, near Hamilton, Victoria, Australia. Wildlife Research 22: 289-97.

CNR 1995. Threatened Fauna in Victoria. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria.

Dufty, A.C. 1991. Some population characteristics of Perameles gunnii in Victoria. Wildlife Research 18: 355-66.

Dufty, A.C. 1994. Habitat and spatial requirements of the eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) at Hamilton, Victoria. Wildlife Research 21: 459-72.

Dufty, A.C., Seebeck, J.H., McKay, J. and Watson, A.J. 1995. Reintroduction of Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Gellibrand Hill Park, Victoria. Pp. 219-25 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna, ed by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Fisher, J.T. and Norman, P. 1991. Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement No. 4. Department of Conservation and Environment, Victoria

Humphries, R. and Seebeck, J.H. 1995. Conservation of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii on private land in Victoria. Pp. 156-62 in People and Nature Conservation, ed by A. Bennett, G. Backhouse and T. Clark. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.

IUCN 1994. IUCN Red List Categories and Criteria. IUCN: Gland.

Kemper, C. 1990. Status of bandicoots in South Australia. Pp 67-72 in Bandicoots and Bilbies ed by J. H. Seebeck, P. R. Brown, R. L. Wallis and C. M. Kemper. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Kingston, J. 1998. Handbook for the Captive management of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Zoological Parks and Gardens Board, Melbourne.

Lacy, R.C. 1997. Importance of genetic variation to the viability of mammalian populations. Journal of Mammalogy 78(2): 320-35.

Lacy, R.C. and Clark, T.W. 1990. Population Viability Assessment of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in Victoria. Pp. 131-45 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Lenghaus, C., Obendorf, D. L. and Wright, F. H. 1990. Veterinary aspects of Perameles gunnii biology with special reference to species conservation. Pp 89-108 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Mallick, S.A., Driesson, M.M. and Hocking, G.J. 1997. Biology and Conservation of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) in Tasmania. Wildlife Report No. 97/1. Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Minta, S.C., Clark, T.W. and Goldstraw, P. 1990. Population estimates and characteristics of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in Victoria, with recommendations for population monitoring. Pp 47-75 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Maxwell, S., Burbidge, A.A. and Morris, K. 1996. The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. Wildlife Australia, Canberra.

Myroniuk, P. 1995. Captive management of the threatened Eastern Barred Bandicoot: Zoos and co-operative conservation. Pp 63-7 in People and Nature Conservation ed by A. Bennett, G. Backhouse and T. Clark. Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales: Sydney.

Myroniuk, P. 1993. Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii Captive Breeding Program 1990-1992 Studbook. Zoological Board of Victoria: Melbourne.

Obendorf, D.L., Stratham, P. and Driessen, M. 1996. Detection of agglutination antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii in sera from free-ranging Eastern Barred Bandicoots (Perameles gunnii). Journal of Wildlife Disease 32(4): 623-6.

Reading, R.P., Clark, T.W., Arnold, A., Fisher, J., Myroniuk, P. and Seebeck, J.H. 1992. Analysis of a Threatened Species Recovery Program: the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii in Victoria, Australia. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria.

Reading, R.P., Clark, T.W., Seebeck, J.H. and Pearce, J. 1996. Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunnii) Habitat Suitability Index model. Wildlife Research 23: 221-35.

Robinson, N.A., Murray, N.D. and Sherwin, W.B. 1993. VNTR loci reveal differentiation between and structure within populations of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Molecular Ecology 2: 195-207.

Robinson, N.A., Sherwin, W.B., Murray, N.D. and Graves, A.M. 1990. Application of conservation genetics to the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii. Pp. 109-29 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Scarlett, N.H., Wallbrink, S.J. and McDougall, K. 1992. Field Guide to Victoria's Native Grasslands. Victoria Press: South Melbourne.

Seebeck, J.H. 1979. Status of the Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii in Victoria: with a note on husbandry of a captive colony. Australian Wildlife Research 6: 255-64.

Seebeck, J.H. 1982. Interim management guidelines for the management of Barred Bandicoot populations and habitat within and around the City of Hamilton. Unpublished report, Fisheries and Wildlife Division, Victoria.

Seebeck, J.H. 1995. The Eastern Barred Bandicoot. P. 100 in Complete Book of Australian Mammals ed by R. Strahan. Angus and Robertson: Sydney.

Seebeck, J.H. 1990. Recovery management of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot in Victoria: Statewide strategy. Pp. 165-78 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations, ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Seebeck, J.H. 1997. Field Manual for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Recovery Program. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria.

Seebeck, J.H. and Bowley, G. 1994. Eastern Barred Bandicoot recovery program: Gellibrand Hill Park monitoring report - November 1993. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria.

Seebeck, J.H. and Patrick, C. 1997. A Bandicoot Bibliography - The Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii gray. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria.

Seebeck, J.H., Bennett, A.F. and Dufty, A.C. 1990. Status, distribution and biogeography of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii in Victoria. Pp 21-32 in Management and Conservation of Small Populations ed by T.W. Clark and J.H. Seebeck. Chicago Zoological Society: Brookfield, Illinois.

Seebeck, J.H., Brown, P.R., Wallis, R.L and Kemper, C.M. (eds). 1990. Bandicoots and Bilbies. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Serena, M. (ed.) 1995. Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Sherwin, W.B. and Brown, P.R. 1990. Problems in the estimation of the effective size of a population of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot, Perameles gunnii, in Hamilton, Victoria. Pp 367-374, in Bandicoots and Bilbies, ed by J. H. Seebeck, P. R. Brown, R. L. Wallis and C. M. Kemper. Surrey Beatty and Sons: Chipping Norton.

Watson A. 1991. An overview of the captive breeding and re-introduction program for Eastern Barred Bandicoots at Gellibrand Hill Park. Department of Conservation and Environment, Victoria.

 

5. Implementation Schedule

Estimated costs for recovery actions ($000s)

Objective

Description

Priority

Feasibility

2000/01

2000/02

TOTAL

1

Captive Breeding

1

100%

63.3

63.3

126.6

2

Reintroduction

1

95%

293.35

293.35

586.7

3

Health

2

100%

12.8

12.8

25.6

4

Genetics

2

95%

44

44

88

5

Community Participation

2

90%

72.95

72.95

145.9

6

Program Management

1

100%

39.5

49.1

88.6

 

Grand Total

525.9

535.5

1061.4

The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Victorian Government, the Minister for Conservation and Land Management or the Victorian Department of Natural Resources and Environment, the Commonwealth Government, the Minister for the Environment or the Director of National Parks and Wildlife.

Copyright © 1998 The Director, National Parks and Wildlife,
GPO Box 787, Canberra, ACT 2601.

Apart from fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means without permission from Environment Australia.

Published by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment
PO Box 500
East Melbourne Victoria 3002

Cite as: Watson, A.J. and Halley, M. (1999). Recovery Plan for the Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunnii (mainland subspecies). Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria