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Bandicoot. Save the Australian Bandicoot

Bandicoots

Status: Extinct
Classification: Mammals
Scientific Name: Peramelemorphia
Date Listed as Endangered: June 4, 1973

In Western Australian region you see this tiny marsupial mammal named bandicoot. These are however, declared as endangered pieces by the authority due to its waning population. The bandicoot looks like a fat creature with equal-sized teeth and the male weighs bigger than female bandicoot. It reaches up to 1500 grams (53 ounces) while females weigh almost half in difference at around 700 grams (25 ounces). The male body measures about 360 mm (14 inches) long and the female 300 mm (11 inches) without including the tail and that is about 100 mm (4 inches) long more or less. This record differs depending on the area where they are located.

There are studies that say bandicoots are solitary creatures but many have found its presence in places where there is availability of food like a backyard, you can find them eating crack corn or wheat at the chicken pens once the chicken are sleeping.

Just like other animal creatures, male bandicoots fight sometimes when they meet. Standing on hind legs, clawing one another on shoulders and backs then twining around each other and throw the opponent over the shoulder is the fighting style of these bandicoots. They could hardly notice humans coming in closely to them while they are on fight so you can enjoy watching over a fighting tournament.

Female bandicoots breed several times a year not just in one short season alone. They produce tiny babies that are born after 12˝ days conception and this is found to be the shortest among mammals. Similar with kangaroos, babies climb into mother’s pouch and later on came out when they are big enough but the difference is bandicoot pouches are at the back while kangaroos’ is at the top.

Bandicoot. Save the Australian Bandicoot

Oftentimes, bandicoots dig holes to find food using their three big toes on front foot and two other undeveloped small toes. There are other types of bandicoots aside from the common one that has color brown fur; they are the golden bandicoot and the bilby. They are considered endangered species and you can rarely find them in the forest now.

One advantage of bandicoots over its predator is his very keen sense of hearing. Their ears are very soft and flexible and they can twitch them towards any noise. On the other hand, they have poor eyesight in spite of their bright dark eye.

Since bandicoots find their food while digging on the ground, they eat several kinds of foods like worms, beetles and grubs. They also eat wild mushrooms and fungus too but their favorites are peanuts and raisins. Opposite to many other living creatures, bandicoots can survive for over a week without water.

Threat To The Bandicoots And Steps For Their Conservation
In Western Australia, Department of Environment and Conservation has started program to do away bandicoots’ predator because they are endangered of becoming extinct. Foxes and feral cats haunted them. Aside from this mentioned predator, road widening, housing and other urban development displace the animals and were became more susceptible to motor vehicles and with their natural enemies such as owl, hawks, snakes and large lizard. Presently bandicoot population has increase in suburbs with the presence of owls, hawks, snakes and large lizard as their natural enemies.

Under the protection of NSW, bandicoots cannot be trapped or killed without a license. People are encouraged to lock their pets at night because the scent of dogs and cats may push the bandicoot to hide and stop its usual activity.

Bandicoot. Save the Australian Bandicoot

 
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