Northern Brown Bandicoot


Isoodon macrourus
"long-tailed equal-tooth"

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other names

Brindled Bandicoot, Giant Brindled Bandicoot, Long-Tailed Short-Nosed Bandicoot
and Large Northern Bandicoot

DESCRIPTION

Male: Head and body length 300 to 470mm, with an average of 400mm. Tail length 90-215mm, with an average of 170mm. Weight range is from 500 to 3100 grams with an average of 2100 grams. Speckled brown-black above and pale to white below.

Female: Head and body length 300 to 410mm, with an average of 350m. Tail length 80-185mm, with an average of 130mm. Weight range is from 500 to 1700 grams with an average of 1100 grams. Appearance as per male.

The Northern Brown Bandicoot can be found in the north-eastern corner of New South Wales, along the coast of Queensland (subspecies Isoodon macrourus torosus) and in the far north of the Northern Territory and Western Australia (subspecies Isoodon macrourus macrourus). There is a third subspecies in New Guinea (Isoodon macrourus moresbyensis). It is often seen in surburban gardens on the east coast of Australia, north of the Hawkesbury River. It prefers areas of low grond cover including tall grass and dense shrubs, irrespective of the presence or absence of a tree canopy. Habitats include grassland, woodland, open forst and in some districts, closed forest. The bandicoot spends its day in a well concealed nest consisting of a heap of ground litter over a shallow depression. Within the nest there is an internal chamber with entry / exit points at each end. At night the bandicoot ranges of one to six hectares in search of food. The bandicoot is omnivorous and the diet consists of insects, invertebrates such as spiders and earthworms, berries, grass seed and plant fibre. Males have larger canine teeth than females and are more aggressive, they also tend to have larger home ranges. Males and females appear to only come together for mating. The breeding season varies by region. In New South Wales the bandicoot breeds mainly from August to March. In south-eastern Queensland it breeds throughout the year. In the Northern Territory it breeds between August and April. The female has eight teats within the pouch, and between one and seven can be born in one litter, usually between two and four. The gestation period is only 12.5 days. Young leave the pouch permantly by about 55 days and are weaned by 60 days. Some females may mate and become pregnant again whil still carrying pouched young. A new litter can be born soon after weaning the previous litter. Females become sexually active at around three to four months of age and can produce several litters in a breeding season. European settlement has caused the Northern Brown Bandicoot to withdraw from much of its inland ranges. Patchy extinction has occured along coastal areas due to intenstive development, farming and grazing. The Northern Brown Bandicoot is considered common to abundant.


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