Perameles gunnii 

Scope: Global

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Peramelemorphia Peramelidae

Scientific Name: Perameles gunnii
Species Authority: Gray, 1838
Common Name(s):
English Eastern Barred Bandicoot
French Péramèle À Long Nez De L´est

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bce+3bce+4bce ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2014-05-18
Assessor(s): Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A.
Reviewer(s): Hawkins, C.
Contributor(s): Menkhorst, P., Richards, J., Dickman, C. & Hill, R.

One (unnamed) subspecies of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is reduced to c. 400 individuals at two intensively-managed and small reintroduction sites (mainland islands in Victoria). The other subspecies (P. g. gunnii) has a substantially larger range and population size (across Tasmania), so provides the most leverage in conservation assessment for the species as a whole. Across both subspecies, the total population is declining at a rate that is about 30% over 10 years, and this rate may increase in the near future due to increasing predation pressure.

Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

At the time of European settlement, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot occurred from the far south-east of South Australia through near-coastal south-western Victoria to near Melbourne, and across most of Tasmania (other than high altitude areas and the higher rainfall south-west and west of the island). The last record from South Australia was in the late 1800s (Kemper 1990), and the last wild Victorian subpopulation was extirpated in about 2002 (Hill et al. 2010). On the mainland, its present range is restricted to two reintroduced subpopulations within predator-proof fencing (mainland islands): Hamilton Community Parklands (1 km²), and Mt Rothwell (4 km²). Its Tasmanian distribution is still relatively extensive, but it has disappeared from substantial parts of its former range (Driessen et al. 1996; Mallick et al. 1997ab). The species ranges in elevation from sea level to 950 m in Tasmania, but it is usually found much lower there and on the mainland (Seebeck 2001).
Countries occurrence:
Australia (South Australia - Regionally Extinct, Tasmania, Victoria)
Additional data:
Estimated area of occupancy (AOO) - km2:40-20000Continuing decline in area of occupancy (AOO):Yes
Extreme fluctuations in area of occupancy (AOO):NoEstimated extent of occurrence (EOO) - km2:40848
Continuing decline in extent of occurrence (EOO):NoExtreme fluctuations in extent of occurrence (EOO):No
Continuing decline in number of locations:Unknown
Upper elevation limit (metres):950
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


The original wild population of Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Victoria) is presumed extinct, and this taxon now exists in two reintroduced population (with a combined population of 350 ± 100 individuals) and a captive population of 15 breeding pairs (total 50 individuals) (information current at November 2012: R. Hill pers. comm. 2014).

There is no reliable estimate of the population size of the Tasmanian subspecies. However, it is undergoing substantial decline, with populations in the Midlands much reduced over the period from the 1950s to the 1990s (Driessen et al. 1996; Mallick et al. 1997ab), and recent declines typical across the rest of its range. Across a series of sites in Tasmania, abundance has declined by about 60% over the period 1985-2005 (, however at least part of this decline may have been associated with periods of low rainfall.

Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Number of mature individuals:10000-100000, 20000Continuing decline of mature individuals:Yes
Extreme fluctuations:NoPopulation severely fragmented:No
Continuing decline in subpopulations:Unknown
Extreme fluctuations in subpopulations:NoAll individuals in one subpopulation:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:In Tasmania, populations inhabit open grasslands and areas of pastoral development with patches of dense groundcover (Seebeck 2001, Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). On the mainland, the species formerly occupied the native grasslands and grassy woodlands of the western volcanic plains of Victoria. Reintroduced populations have been established in grasslands and grassy woodlands, often dominated by exotic plant species (Maxwell et al. 1996). Females give birth to between one and five young (but usually two or three) (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). Reproduction can occur throughout the year, but may be depressed during extended low rainfall periods (Hill et al. 2010). Under favourable conditions, the Eastern Barred Bandicoot is highly fecund, with females able to produce up to 4-5 litters per year (Seebeck 1979).
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Eastern Barred Bandicoots probably disappeared from the mainland due to introduced predators and habitat destruction from introduced herbivores. Predation from red foxes is thought to have been particularly detrimental, and the recent introduction of foxes to Tasmania could pose a major threat to the species here. Introduced sheep and rabbits also cleared large areas of bandicoot habitat on the mainland, which must have led to reduced populations. In Tasmania populations are fragmented in parts of its range, but this is probably not a major threat (Seebeck and Menkhorst 2008). Disease (toxoplasmosis) likely to be having some detrimental impacts (Obendorf and Munday 1990; Obendorf et al. 1996; Bryant and Jackson 1999; Bettiol et al. 1998, 2000).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Eastern Barred Bandicoot occurs in protected areas. The most important conservation measure for the species as a whole is the control of fox populations in Tasmania.

Recovery efforts on the mainland are complex, multi-disciplinary, and involve many organisations and individuals; several research projects are under way, including collaborative projects with universities, covering biology and ecology of reintroduced populations, establishment at new sites, and population dynamics of foxes at bandicoot release sites; there is considerable community interest and involvement in the recovery program, especially with releases onto private land. A Recovery Plan for the mainland subspecies has been developed (Watson and Halley 2000; Hill et al. 2010).

Management actions underway for the mainland population include: captive breeding, ongoing since 1988. The Zoological Parks and Gardens Board (ZPGB) now manages this aspect of the recovery program, and bandicoots are bred at facilities in Victoria, South Australia and New South Wales. There are four reintroduction sites in Victoria, but only one, Woodlands Historic Park near Melbourne, has a reasonably secure population (>700 animals). The others are small, highly vulnerable, and will rely on supplementary releases for the next few years. Not all of these sites contain sufficient habitat for populations to be self-sustaining in the short- to medium-term; habitat management through fencing, tree planting, native grassland management, weed and rabbit control variously occur at all sites; intensive predator control is maintained at all release sites, with regular poisoning, shooting and destruction of dens and other refuges.

Citation: Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A. 2016. Perameles gunnii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T16572A21966027. . Downloaded on 26 September 2016.
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