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Education package to protect backyard bandicoots


A new teaching package has been launched to encourage students and the community to help protect the threatened eastern barred bandicoot in Tasmania.

The Backyard Bandicoots package targets students in years 2-6 and contains a teacher training book, community brochure, poster and book stickers.

Project officer Lydia Marino said the education package teaches students general ecology of the eastern barred bandicoot as well as practical ways to strengthen local populations.

"The eastern barred bandicoot is considered threatened because the species is potentially at risk of becoming extinct," she said.

"This may seem surprising to many Tasmanians, as barred bandicoots are still common in parts the state.
"However, the eastern barred bandicoot is now extinct in South Australia and 'critically endangered' in Victoria, where the population has been reduced to a mere 200 individuals.

"Large scale loss of the much of the eastern barred bandicoot's natural habitat, native grasslands, has caused it to almost disappear from its natural range in Tasmania.

"This has meant that bandicoots have largely moved into the fringes of rural areas and often urban areas. Here they shelter in weeds and non-native vegetation, often in gardens and parks.

"Unfortunately, bandicoots face many threats in the urban environment, including road kills, predation by cats and dogs and habitat loss as well as the emerging threat of foxes."

The project was initiated by Hobart City Council's Faunacare Group and funded by the WWF's Threatened Species Network.

It has been supported by the Department of Tourism, Arts and the Environment and the Department of Primary Industries and Water.

A teacher training workshop on eastern barred bandicoots and threats to their survival will be held from 4pm to 6pm at the Hobart City Council Lower Conference Room, Elizabeth Street (behind the Town Hall) on December 5.

Teachers are requested to register their interest in the workshop by contacting Sonya Stallbaum from the Hobart City Council Bushland and Reserves Unit on 6238 2884 or stallbaums@hobartcity.com.au

Education package to protect backyard bandicoots

The eastern barred bandicoot.