Threatened Species Focus Continues

NRM North is continuing to support landholders in the northern region to plan and implement environmental works to protect threatened species and other environmental values on their properties.

barred bandicoot baby March2015.jpg
A baby eastern barred bandicoot is a rare sight.

A key focus in the West Tamar through to Perth-Longford areas is protecting and improving habitat for eastern barred bandicoot, a small marsupial which is endemic to south-eastern Australia. On mainland Australia, the species persists only in captive populations. To date, Tasmania has provided a refuge for the species, however, habitat loss through changes in land management has meant population numbers of the species have contracted across the state.

In 2018 NRM North, with key partner the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, commenced a project funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program to undertake monitoring and community education and establish effective conservation measures to protect the eastern barred bandicoot in northern Tasmania.

The initial task was to gather information about where the strongholds are for eastern barred bandicoot in the region, using motion sensor cameras deployed on private properties across a broad area, as well as a community survey which saw hundreds of people respond with information about the species in their local area, including whether they had observed a decline over the years.

Armed with better information about the species’ distribution, NRM North and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy have been running workshops and contacting landholders in target areas to provide information on how to protect and encourage this endearing species on their properties, as well as planning works to improve the species’ chances in the face of predators, land use change and other threats.

NRM North’s Biodiversity Program Manager Kate Thorn said there are a range of activities that NRM North can support on private properties in target areas.

“Properties in eligible areas can receive grants for activities including fencing stock out of existing bush, planting specially-designed native habitat patches, and adding understorey plants to provide the dense cover that bandicoots need to hide from predators. Works commenced with the first seedlings going in the ground in Spring 2019 and are planned to continue for another three years.”

Staff are working remotely at present but are happy to receive calls from interested landholders.

NRM North and the Tasmanian Land Conservancy will monitor results across the region using motion sensor cameras to detect change in numbers of eastern barred bandicoot and other species over the life of the project.

If you think you have a suitable property in the West Tamar, Perth or Longford areas and would like more information on participating in the project please call 6333 7777 or email jlyall@nrmnorth.org.au.