Bandicoot Facts | Australia South Wildlife Guide
Unlike other marsupials, bandicoots have a placenta. At just 12 days—one of the shortest gestation periods of any mammal—a female gives birth to 2 to 6 young. Owls, quolls, tiger snakes and dingoes are their natural predators; when startled, the bandicoot leaps six feet into the air and emits a loud whistling squeak (one of four distinct vocalizations they use to communicate).
At the time of European settlement, the southern brown bandicoot was common in coastal Australia, but due to habitat fragmentation and the introduction of red foxes and feral and domestic cats, their range and distribution is now limited to southern Australia and Tasmania. This type of short-nosed bandicoot prefers areas with high rainfall and thick ground cover, where it is safe to search for insects, worms, fungi and plant roots.
The eastern barred bandicoot once occurred from the far south-east of southern Australia through near-coastal south-western Victoria to near Melbourne, and across most of Tasmania. The last record from southern Australia was in the late 1800s and the last wild Victorian subpopulation was presumed extinct in 2002. Disappearance from the mainland is owed to introduced predators like foxes and habitat destruction from introduced herbivores such as sheep and rabbits. This taxon now exists in two reintroduced populations within predator-proof fencing, west of Melbourne. These endangered mammals are making a comeback thanks to a herd of sheepdogs, trained to ward off fox attacks.