Bandicoots have harsh, almost spiny fur, brown/grey in colour. Their fur comes out easily in an attackers mouth (or when the animal is handled). The Short nosed brown bandicoot has small, rounded ears while the Long Nosed bandicoot’s ears are longer and it has a longer snout.
All bandicoots have long noses which they use with their strong forepaws in finding and eating their food. They make small cone shaped holes in their search for food. The second and third toes of a bandicoot’s hind foot are joined together to the claws and are used for grooming the fur. The bandicoots have developed elongated hind feet rather like kangaroos and wallabies and have rat like tails. Bandicoots are about rabbit sized, the Northern bandicoot weighs from 1-3 kg while the smaller long-nosed bandicoot weighs less than 1 kg.
Short-nosed bandicoots make nests like flattened heaps of sticks and debris which are well hidden in vegetation. The nest has no entrance, the animal burrows in and out of the pile and conceals the entrance. The Northern Brown and Long Nosed Bandicoot have the shortest gestation period of any mammal giving birth to two to three young 12 and a half days after mating. Bandicoots have a backward facing pouch and can have up to three litters a year.
Bandicoots eat insect larvae, worms, spiders, grass seeds and berries.
The Northern Bandicoot is more omnivorous, eating grass seeds, berries, insects, beetles, worms, beetle larvae etc. The Southern brown prefers to forage for food shortly after dusk or before dawn.
Bandicoots are found in a range of habitats from coastal heath to rainforest, they are quite secretive, needing ground cover for shelter and looking for food close by.
The Northern-Brown Bandicoot is found north of the Hawkesbury River. The Long-nosed Bandicoot is more common in the Blue Mountains.
Common to scarce in some areas due to habitat destruction and predation by domestic animals. Schedule 12 animal, report location to NPWS. Southern Brown Bandicoot is classified as Endangered
Bandicoots are a group of small marsupials that have live on a varied diet of insects and other invertebrates that they dig out from leaf litter, among roots and in the earth.
Several species of bandicoots are now extinct and many are vulnerable including the bilby. Only the Long nosed bandicoot and the short-nosed Northern Brown and Southern Brown bandicoots are relatively common. They are distinguished by their range and size.
Key factors in the decline of the Southern brown bandicoot include feral carnivores (cats and foxes), habitat loss and road kill.