Backyard Buddies

Ground Dwellers

Bandicoot

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Photo credit: Michael Todd

Bandicoot

Have you ever found a finger-deep hole in your lawn with a cone-shaped pile of dirt next to it? You have a bandicoot. Bandicoots live throughout Australia in a wide variety of habitats. There are about 21 known species. While you may not love the holes, bandicoots are doing your garden a fantastic service by controlling your grub numbers and aerating your soil. A bandicoot locates food underground using its excellent sense of..

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Echidna

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Photo credit: J Yurasek/OEH

Echidna

Echidnas are most active in the lead-up to their winter mating period, so if you live in an area with lots of native bush nearby, you may have a small spiny visitor. Echidnas are the oldest mammals alive today. They live all over Australia and are able to survive in a wide variety of habitats and temperatures. They are covered all over with strong and sharp spines, their only defence mechanism against predators. The spines are made of ke..

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Quoll

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Photo credit: Ken Stepnell/OEH

Quoll

Quolls are winter breeders, so by August, some babies are ready to leave the mother. Quolls are meat-eaters at the top of the food chain. They prey on many other species such as gliders, possums, small wallabies, rats, birds, bandicoots, rabbits, insects and carrion. Female quolls make their dens in tree hollows, logs, rock crevasses and even among building materials. Baby quolls start life as tiny, rice-grain sized embryos which as..

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Wallaby

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Photo credit: Peter Sherratt

Wallaby

Although not common to most suburban backyards, wallabies will visit backyards that are near bushland and will certainly frequently visit those lucky enough to have big backyards. Wallabies are marsupials that belong to the animal group Macropods which means 'large footed'. Other macropods include kangaroos, pademelons, wallaroos and tree-kangaroos. There are about 30 wallaby species in Australia. Wallabies have very powerful tails and ba..

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Water Rat

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Photo credit: Ed Dunens

Water Rat

The Water Rat, also known by the Aboriginal name Rakali, is a top predator in freshwater and saltwater environments right across Australia. You're most likely to see a Rakali as it runs along the shore edge in a lake, river or beach. You can tell if you have Rakalis in your backyard by their footprints. As the Rakali has webbed feet, they leave very strange and unique footprints in sandy shores and banks. Rakalis can be messy eaters a..

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