Western barred bandicoot, Marl
The Western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville ), also known as the Marl, is a small species of bandicoot; now extinct across most of its former range, the western barred bandicoot only survives on offshore islands and in fenced sanctuaries on the mainland.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk). This is distinguished from diurnal...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A burrow is a hole or tunnel excavated into the ground by an animal to create a space suitable for habitation, temporary refuge, or as a byproduct ...
Polygynandry is a mating system in which both males and females have multiple mating partners during a breeding season.
Polygamy is the practice of breeding with multiple partners. When a male breeds with more than one female at the same time – it is called polygyny....
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Western barred bandicoot Is much smaller than its relative the eastern barred bandicoot (Perameles gunnii ), and is darker in its colouring, which is a grizzled brown. It measures about 1.5 feet (46 cm) in length. It has two "bars" across its rump and has a short, tapered tail. It was a solitary and crepuscular hunter, eating insects, spiders, and worms and occasionally tubers and roots. When the bandicoot feels threatened, it typically leaps into the air and then burrows to safety.
At the time of European settlement the Western barred bandicoot was widespread across southern mainland Australia from Western Australia to central New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia in arid and semi-arid areas of the Mainland. The last known record of the species occurring on mainland Australia, is in Ooldea, South Australia in 1922 and Rawlinna, Western Australia in 1929. It was assessed as being extinct on the Australian mainland, Dirk Hartog and Faure islands before reintroduction projects. The only surviving natural populations are on Bernier and Dorre islands in Shark Bay, Western Australia.Show More
The reintroduction program for threatened marsupials saw the Western barred bandicoot reintroduced back to mainland Australia in 1995 to Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay; 66 years after the last known mainland recording. The translocation was ultimately a failure, with the species recently identified as locally extinct on Heirisson Prong.
However the species was successfully reintroduced into the fenced Arid Recovery Reserve at Roxby Downs, South Australia in 2000, and to Faure island, Shark Bay in 2005. It was reintroduced to a large fenced reserve at Western Australia's Mount Gibson Sanctuary in 2017, to Dirk Hartog Island in October 2019, to a fenced landscape within Sturt National Park in 2021, and to a fenced private reserve on South Australia's Eyre Peninsula in August 2021.
Further reintroductions are planned at two large fenced reserves within New South Wales; in the Pilliga Forest and Mallee Cliffs.
Captive, contained breeding facility populations on the mainland at Dryandra Woodland, in Western Australia were not successful. Although they have captive populations within the Barna Mia Nocturnal Animal Sanctuary, allowing people to see the animals in a controlled environment within the Dryandra Woodland.Show Less
The distribution history shows that the species used a variety of vegetation types as habitats, dependent of its locality on mainland Australia; from Allocasuarina seedlings, open salt bush, blue bush plains, stony ridges bordering scrub and along the Murray-Darling river system. The last natural species habitats are in vegetated beach dune scrub, low heath and hummock grasslands.Show More
Breeding season has been recorded to be triggered from the first considerable rainfall after the summer drought in Autumn. Females reach sexual maturity at 3–5 months and weigh an average of 244 grams. The female carries between 1-3 young in her pouch, averaging 2 young, with the litter size increasing with a larger mother. Four young have been recorded in pouches in South Australia. The Female carries her young between the months of March to November. The male Western barred bandicoot matures at 4–6 months and weighs an average of 195 grams. The female Western barred bandicoot is larger than the male, being the only recorded species of bandicoot with a larger female.
The Western barred bandicoot are known as solitary omnivorous animal, foraging on their own, eating plant matter, invertebrates and skinks. They have an isolated well concealed nest made from the litter of their habitat, most often using the same nest each night. Females are known to be the only individuals who share their nests, and only with their young.Show Less
Conservation efforts for the Western barred bandicoot have been ongoing since 1995, when 14 bandicoots derived from Dorre Island were reintroduced to Heirisson Prong. A fence designed to exclude foxes and feral cats was constructed across a narrow neck of Heirisson Prong in 1990, allowing a 1200 ha area of the tip of the peninsula to be rid of exotic predators.Show More
Low levels of genetic diversity can indicate vulnerability for conservation of endangered species. Captive breeding recovery programs will have higher success rates with an understanding of genetic data. Diversity losses of genetic drifting due to island bottle necking are likely to counteract the fitness of the species, leaving them vulnerable to diseases, which is already evident.
The few Western barred bandicoot population locations have restricted areas of occupancy, the species is highly susceptible to human activities, climate change, disease and predators, placing pressure on the species survival. These circumstances formulate the vulnerability of becoming critically endangered or extinct in a very short period of time.Show Less