Levi Parsons unearths the Inner West’s newest underground subculture. It’s adorable.
The Office of Environment and Heritage has partnered with the University of Sydney and Transport for NSW to establish an awareness program for some of Sydney’s cutest residents.
After being declared endangered in 1995, the long-nosed bandicoot was believed to have vanished from Sydney metropolitan areas prior to 2002 when a discovery of several colonies of bandicoot in Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt meant there was still hope for these furry locals.
As compensation for the Inner West Light Rail extension, Transport NSW is funding a monitoring and research project on the now named Inner West long-nosed bandicoot. The study will use radio tracking to monitor the full extent of the population. Scientists are also hoping to discover more about the habitat of the city-dwelling species.
“We’re seeking the help of the communities in the Local Government Areas of Marrickville, Ashfield and Leichhardt to look out for signs that bandicoots are nearby and share the information with us,” said Mr Mark Speakman, NSW Environment Minister.
“Hopefully by learning more about where the animals are living, we’ll be able to develop better conservation strategies to protect the population,” said Dr Catherine Price, who will be leading the project.
A study by Parks and Wildlife Division in 2010 followed bandicoots in Lewisham and suggested they were “yuppies” because unlike most bandicoots that prefer to live in open grassy areas, the Inner West bandicoot prefers to burrow underneath older Victorian terraces.
The materials in older buildings like sandstone, bricks and floorboards make it easy for bandicoots to burrow between cracks.
The study indicates the reason why bandicoots have not been found in the outer western suburbs is because there are more newer homes with thick concrete foundations, making it hard for our little friends to dig under. But I suspect the Inner West bandicoot, like us, just prefers the inner city lifestyle.
For more information or to report a bandicoot sighting go to facebook.com/innerwestbandicoots.