Backyard Buddies
Bandicoot

Photo: Michael Todd

Bandicoot

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All bandicoots are mainly active at night but you can see them in the evening and morning. During the heat of the day, they take refuge in their nests. 

There are around 20 different types of bandicoots. Most of them are only found in Australia but a couple live in Papua New Guinea. The three buddies that you’re most likely to see in your backyard are the Long-nosed Bandicoot, the Southern-brown Bandicoot and the Northern-brown Bandicoot.

The bandicoot is an omnivore which means they can eat both plants and animals.

Their normal call sounds like a bird but when they are annoyed they will make a ‘whuff whuff’ sound.

The bandicoot can be a little messy when it comes to foraging for food. It’s not uncommon to see leaf litter tossed about or the odd hole in your lawn when there’s a bandicoot around. The reason for this behaviour is so that they can dig out and eat many of the unwanted bugs in your garden, helping to protect your plants.

Far from being a nuisance, this friendly buddy can be a big asset to the health of your garden and a wonderful surprise to come across. So don’t worry if you see the occasional tell-tale digging of the bandicoot, this means that your garden is under the protection of a terrific buddy.

You can make your neighbourhood friendlier for bandicoots

Most bandicoots are declining in numbers, due to land clearing and predation from introduced animals. However they still pop up in most major cities. To help them survive in our urban areas, why not make your garden more bandicoot friendly?

You can designate a section of your garden for these buddies to scratch around in. Planting dense native bushes and grasses for them to hide in and plenty of mulch and leaf litter to scratch around will make bandicoots feel right at home at your place. This will also help deter them from digging in your lawn.

It is easy to make a bandicoot nest or home for these little buddies. All you need is some wood to pile up. Make sure there’s space inside for them to sleep and a roof over their head. You can even put some dried grass inside for their bed.

Simple things that you do can make a huge difference to Australia’s animals. That’s why the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife is running Backyard Buddies – to give you tips to help.

What is a backyard buddy?

Backyard buddies are the native animals that share our built-up areas, our beaches and waterways, our backyards and our parks. The bandicoot is a backyard buddy.

Backyard buddies are also the local people who value the living things around them, like the bandicoot, and are willing to protect and encourage them by doing a few simple things around their own homes.

So you can be a backyard buddy.

Be a backyard buddy

It’s easy. All you have to do is care... and take a few simple steps.

Step one is to find out what bandicoots do and do not like.

Bandicoots love:

Dry grass – which they use to make their beds to sleep in during the day.

Solitude – because they like their own space. They will only let other bandicoots into their territory when mating.

Digging – for tasty insects and roots.

But they don’t like:

Whipper snippers – when they get too close to their homes made from the long grass.

Swimming pools – because if there’s nowhere to climb out, they can drown.

Being mistaken – for the introduced Black Rat. Despite having similar tails and size, the bandicoot is much better for your backyard.

Be a bandicoot buddy

Try to:

Avoid:

Don't be surprised if:

Find out more about your buddies

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