Valley of the Bandicoots
From March until September 2006, funds collected from the Don’t Bag the Environment program were donated to the Valley of the Bandicoots. The funds raised were used to preserve, rehabilitate and expand the natural habitat on which the bandicoot depends by allowing the dedicated volunteers to buy much-needed equipment and hire specialist bush rehabilitation contractors, seed collectors, and wildlife experts.
200 years ago, there were eight species of bandicoot living in South Australia – now there is only one left, the Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus obesulus). In 2001 the Southern Brown Bandicoot was also declared nationally endangered. Its future is being decided right now. In the Adelaide Hills, just 20 minutes from the centre of Adelaide, small populations of the Southern Brown Bandicoots have somehow managed to survive 170 years of development in remnant pockets of bushland. More than 90 percent of the bushland where the bandicoot once lived has been cleared, and what remains is fragmented and degraded by numerous weeds, facing constant threats from human activities and introduced predators. Many other plant and animal species that share the bush with the bandicoot are also under threat.
The ‘Valley of the Bandicoot” is a volunteer project, initiated by the local Aldgate Valley Landcare Group, which developed a five-kilometre long ‘community wildlife corridor’ to link and expand some of the small bushland fragments.
The project also ran a local education campaign about responsible cat ownership ( cats are major predators of bandicoots) and lobbied State and local authorities for increased fox control.
The ‘Valley of the Bandicoot” project was managed by local residents, many of whom put in hundreds of hours of unpaid work. Today this bushland corridor in the Adelaide hills is a well know walking track of 13.6km duration.
Your contribution to the Valley of the Bandicoot helped ensure the success of this community conservation project and protect a rare and beautiful Australian creature.