Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Vulnerable
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan not required, included on the Not Commenced List (1/11/2009).
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Recovery plan for the Golden Bandicoot Isoodon auratus and Golden-backed Tree-rat Mesembriomys macrurus 2004 - 2009 (Palmer, C., R. Taylor & A. Burbidge, 2003) [Recovery Plan].
 
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
 
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
 
State Listing Status
WA: Listed as Vulnerable (Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (Western Australia): September 2013)
Scientific name Isoodon auratus barrowensis [66666]
Family Peramelidae:Polyprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author  
Infraspecies author (Thomas, 1901)
Reference Pope, L., Storch, D., Adams, M., Moritz, C.and Gordon, G. (2001).Australian Journal of Zoology 49: 411-434; Zenger, K.R., Eldridge M.D.B and Johnston, P.G. (2005). Conservation Genetics 6:193-204
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images
http://petroleumclub.q-net.net.au//kid2kid/barrow9.htm

Scientific name: Isoodon auratus barrowensis

Common name: Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island)

Isoodonis currently divided into many species and subspecies though the validity of this taxonomic approach is debated (Pope et al. 2001). Argument regarding the definition of subspecies focuses on whether isolated populations are genetically different subspecies or whether populations have developed morphological traits in response to environmental constraints at respective locations (Pope et al. 2001).

Current accepted taxonomy

Most recent authorities consider there to be three species of Isoodon: the Southern Brown Bandicoot (I. obesulus) from Queensland, Victoria, South Australia and NSW; the Golden Bandicoot (I. auratus) from the Northern Territory and Western Australia; and the Northern Brown Bandicoot (I. macrourus) which occurs in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland (Van Dyck & Strahan 2008). Originally, the Golden Bandicoot (mainland) was considered a subspecies of the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Tate 1948) based on a specimen from Derby, Western Australia. However, this species has been treated as a separate species by recent authorities (Van Dyck & Strahan 2008).

Genetic/morphological studies

The two subspecies of Golden Bandicoot are considered separate on morphological grounds with Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) (Isoodon auratus barrowensis) distinguished from other forms by its wide zygomatic arches (the oblique suture between the squamous portion of the temporal bone and the zygomatic bone) (Lyne & Mort 1981). Marchinbar Island specimens of Golden Bandicoot (mainland) differ from Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) specimens by only one polymorphic locus out of 24 (Southgate et al. 1996). This genetic variation is smaller than the difference between subspecies of Southern Brown Bandicoot (Close et al. 1990).

The relationship between the Golden Bandicoot (mainland) and I. auratus arnhemensis, a subspecies not commonly accepted, are unknown and intensive surveys in eastern Arnhem Land have not revealed any species other than the Northern Brown Bandicoot in the Arnhem Land area (Johnson & Southgate 1990; Southgate et al. 1996). Several authors have speculated on the possible synonymy of I. obesulus peninsulaewith Golden Bandicoot, but genetic data does not currently support this (Close et al. 1990).

Mitochondrial DNA analysis suggests only two distinct lineages of Isoodon: the Northern Brown Bandicoot and the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Lyne & Mort 1981; McKenzie 1983; Pope et al. 2001; Zenger et al. 2005). This analysis places both subspecies of the Golden Bandicoot as forms of the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Pope et al. 2001). Pope and colleagues (2001) found that:

  • the genetic difference between the Golden Bandicoot and the Southern Brown Bandicoot is similar to the genetic difference between subspecies of Southern Brown Bandicoot, and
  • the genetic difference between geographically close populations of Southern Brown Bandicoot from Western Australia and the Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) is smaller than the genetic difference between subspecies of Golden Bandicoot (Pope et al. 2001).

The Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) is a compact marsupial which grows to an average length of 24.5 cm with an average tail length of 10.5 cm. The Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) is slightly smaller and has slightly darker fur than the Golden Bandicoot (mainland), and weighs between 250 and 600 g when mature (Palmer et al. 2003; Strahan 1998). The species is mainly solitary, though home ranges overlap and may alter by seasons, usually increasing in size in drier seasons (Palmer et al. 2003).

The present population of the Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island) is restricted to Barrow and Middle Islands (McKenzie et al. 1995). This species was formerly also present on Hermite Island where it became extinct around 1912 (Burbidge 1971). There is no evidence of decline on Barrow Island (Maxwell et al. 1996) and the population there is considered secure (Friend 1990; McKenzie 1983).

Barrow Island has an area of 23 590 ha; Middle Island an area of 350 ha and Boomerang Island 5 ha (Morris 2002).This totals 23 945 ha that the species may occur in.

The population is estimated to be 60 000–80 000 (McKenzie et al. 1995).

As the subspecies occurs only on two islands in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, all populations are considered important for survival (Palmer et al. 2003).

Barrow Island is a small limestone island dominated by Triodia grasslands. Bandicoots occur in all vegetation types found on the island including disturbed areas (Short & Turner 1994), utilising grasslands and limestone caves for sheltering (Palmer et al. 2003). Middle and Boomerang Islands are much smaller than Barrow, with similar habitat types.

The Golden Bandicoot on Barrow Island shows a strong seasonality in breeding with a summer peak in births (Palmer et al. 2003).

This species is omnivorous. Foods taken include ants, termites, moths, reptiles, rodents, turtle eggs and a variety of roots and tubers (McKenzie et al. 1995; Southgate et al. 1996).

Home ranges are said to be up to 20 ha (McKenzie et al. 1995) but no detailed studies have been reported.

Introduced predators to Barrow and Middle Islands, such as cats, foxes, dogs and rats pose a serious threat. The subspecies was eradicated from nearby Hermite Island around 1912 by feral cats. The introduced black rat may have also suppressed the subspecies' numbers on Middle Island, as this population appears to have increased following rat eradication in 1993 (Strahan et al. 1998). Extensive wildfire could affect the subspecies significantly for several years as vegetation recovery on the islands is dependent on rainfall, in particular major rainfall events associated with cyclones. Barrow Island is an oilfield and site of a future gas processing plant. Potential threats to the habitat from these operations include disturbance by oilfield activities, especially gravel extraction and road construction (Butler 1987). The oilfield and planned gas processing plant are subject to strict environmental and quarantine protection procedures; clearing and other vegetation damage are minimised and no exotic animals are permitted (Strahan et al. 1998).

A management plan is being drafted for the islands included in the Barrow Island Nature Reserve. This plan will address all of the major threats facing the subspecies. In addition, Chevron has developed fauna management plans to ensure no adverse impact of the gas processing operations on the island (Strahan et al. 1998).
The high population density and large population size, together with the relatively safe status of Barrow Island, does not imply high security as a single isolated population is highly vulnerable to novel influences or catastrophic events.

A national Recovery plan for the Golden Bandicoot Isoodon auratus and Golden-backed Tree-rat Mesembriomys macrurus 2004 - 2009 (Palmer et al. 2003) has been adopted. This plan includes the Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island). The overall objectives of this plan are:

  • Maintain or improve the conservation status of the Golden Bandicoot and Golden-backed Tree-rat (currently listed nationally as Vulnerable).
  • Achieve an accurate assessment of population trends.
  • Identify the key threatening processes.

Rats were eradicated from Middle Island and the small number known on Barrow Island in baiting programs by the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (WA DEC) in 1991 (Morris 1987).

Barrow Island is subject to strict environmental protection procedures that controls damage to vegetation and prevent the invasion of exotic species (McKenzie et al. 1995, cited in Palmer et al. 2003) and for management of mining activities on the island (Butler 1987). A formal mammal monitoring program on Barrow Island was commenced in 1998 (Morris et al. 2002, cited in Palmer et al. 2003) to address:

  • Monitoring of mammal populations inside and outside the oilfield using a combination of spotlight transects and trapping.
  • Monitor fauna response where rat eradication was undertaken.
  • Monitor to ensure that feral animal, especially rodents and cats do not establish on the island.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Grazing pressures and associated habitat changes Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isoodon auratus barrowensis (Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008cz) [Conservation Advice].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Isoodon auratus barrowensis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006md) [Internet].
Energy Production and Mining:Mining and Quarrying:Habitat destruction, disturbance and/or modification due to mining activities Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. (Butler, W.H., 1987) [Book].
Energy Production and Mining:Oil and Gas Drilling:Habitat modification due to oil/gas/petroleum activities Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isoodon auratus barrowensis (Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008cz) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation by weeds Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isoodon auratus barrowensis (Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008cz) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Commonwealth Conservation Advice on Isoodon auratus barrowensis (Golden Bandicoot (Barrow Island)) (Threatened Species Scientific Committee, 2008cz) [Conservation Advice].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation by rats Isoodon auratus barrowensis in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage (DEH), 2006md) [Internet].
The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes (Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris, 1996) [Cwlth Action Plan].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate prescribed regimes and/or vegetation management to control fire regimes Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. (Butler, W.H., 1987) [Book].
Species Stresses:Indirect Species Effects:Low numbers of individuals Species threats data recorded on the SPRAT database between 1999-2002 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2012i) [Database].

Burbidge, A.A. (1971). The fauna and flora of the Monte Bello Islands. Western Australia Department of Fisheries and Fauna Report. 9:1-15. WA Department of Fisheries and Fauna.

Butler, W.H. (1987). Management of disturbance in an arid remnant: the Barrow Island Experience. In: Saunder, D.A., G.W. Arnold, A.A. Burbidge & A.J.M. Hopkins, eds. Nature Conservation: The Role of Remnants of Native Vegetation. Page(s) 279-285. Chipping Norton: Surrey Beatty.

Close, R.L., J.D. Murray & D.A. Briscoe (1990). Electrophoretic and chromosome surveys of the taxa of short-nosed bandicoots within the genus Isoodon. In: Seebeck, J.H., P.R. Brown, R.L. Wallis & C.M. Kemper, eds. Bandicoots and Bilbies. Page(s) 19-27. Chipping Norton, NSW: Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/publications/threatened-mammals.html.

Friend, J.A. (1990). Status of bandicoots in Western Australia. In: Seebeck, J., P. Brown, R. Wallis & C. Kemper, eds. Bandicoots and Bilbies. Page(s) 73-84. Sydney: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Johnson, K.A. & R.I. Southgate (1990). Present and former status of bandicoots in the Northern Territory. In: Seebeck, J., P. Brown, R. Wallis & C. Kemper, eds. Bandicoots and Bilbies. Page(s) 85-92. Sydney: Surrey Beatty & Sons.

Lyne, A.G. & P.A. Mort (1981). A comparison of skull morphology in the marsupial bandicoot genus Isoodon: its taxonomic implications and notes on a new species, Isoodon arnhemensis. Australian Mammalogy. 4:107-133.

Maxwell, S., A.A. Burbidge & K. Morris (1996). The 1996 Action Plan for Australian Marsupials and Monotremes. [Online]. Wildlife Australia, Environment Australia. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/action-plan-australian-marsupials-and-monotremes.

McKenzie, N.L. (1983). Golden Bandicoot. In: Strahan, R., ed. The Complete Book of Australian Mammals. Page(s) 98. Sydney: Angus & Robertson.

McKenzie, N.L., K.D. Morris & C.R. Dickman (1995). Golden Bandicoot. In: Strahan, R, ed. The Mammals of Australia. Page(s) 172-173. Reed: Chatswood.

Morris, K.D. (1987). Turtle egg predation by the golden bandicoot (Isoodon auratus) on Barrow Island. Western Australian Naturalist. 17:18-19.

Morris, K.D. (2002). The Eradication of the Blck Rat (Rattus rattus) on Barrow and adjacent islands off the north-west coast of Western Australia. In: Vietch, C.R & Clout, M.N, eds. Turning the Tide: the eradication of invasive species. Occasional paper of the IUCN Species Survival Commission no. 27. Page(s) 219-225. Invasive Species Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK.

Palmer, C., R. Taylor & A. Burbidge (2003). Recovery plan for the Golden Bandicoot Isoodon auratus and Golden-backed Tree-rat Mesembriomys macrurus 2004 - 2009. [Online]. Northern Territory: Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Environment. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/recovery/i-auratus-m-macrurus/index.html.

Pope, L., D. Storch, M. Adams, C. Moritz & G. Gordon (2001). A phylogeny for the genus Isoodon and a range extension for I. obesulus penninsulae based on mtDNA control region and morphology. Australian Journal of Zoology. 49:411-434.

Short, J. & B. Turner (1994). A test of the vegetation mosaic hypothesis: a hypothesis to explain the decline and extinction of Australian mammals. Conservation Biology. 8:439-449.

Southgate, R., C. Palmer, M. Adams, P. Masters, B. Triggs & J. Woinarski (1996). Population and habitat characteristics of the golden bandicoot (Isoodon auratus) on Marchinbar Island, Northern Territory. Wildlife Research. 23:647-664.

Strahan, R. ed (1998). The Mammals of Australia, Second Edition, rev. Sydney, NSW: Australian Museum and Reed New Holland.

Tate, G.H.H. (1948). Results of the Archbold Expeditions. No. 60. Studies in the Peramelidae (Marsupialia). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 92:313-346.

Van Dyck, S. & R. Strahan (2008). The Mammals of Australia, Third Edition. Page(s) 880. Sydney: Reed New Holland.

Zenger, K.R., M.D.B. Eldridge & P.G. Johnston (2005). Phylogenetics, population structure and genetic diversity of the endangered southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) in south-eastern Australia. Conservation Genetics. 6:193-204.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Isoodon auratus barrowensis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Sat, 19 Apr 2014 16:18:28 +1000.