Bandicoots (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer), also known by their Nyungar name Kwenda, are a small marsupial found in and around urban areas near bushland in the Perth area as well as the south-west of WA. Bandicoots, like all native animals, are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and should not be harmed.
Image by Emma Mclerie
Bandicoots are a marsupial with a smallish body, rounded ears and a pointed head. They have coarse dark grey or yellow- brown fur above and creamy-white fur underneath, with a tapered dark brown tail. Bandicoots eat insects, small vertebrates and plant matter.
Bandicoots feed on roots, tubers, fruits, seeds, and fungi, by digging and poking their pointy snouts into the ground foraging for food. This digging helps aerate soil and promotes ecological health in our natural areas.
There are six native bandicoot species in Western Australia.
Bandicoots are a protected and priority listed species in WA. They live in dense scrubby, sometimes swampy vegetation and may often be found in the bushland of urban areas and properties. The main threat to the Quenda is a loss of habitat due to development as well as predators such as foxes, cats and dogs.
If you are not sure how to tell the difference between a Bandicoot and a Rat here are some easy ways to identify our local native friends:
Bandicoots are about the size of a rabbit, have a long pointy snout, a rounded back, thin tail and large hind feet.
Bandicoot tails are shorter than rat tails. A rat’s tail can be twice as long as its body and tends to be more scaly than hairy.
You can help Bandicoots by planting native gardens to create habitat, keep your cats contained, and minimise access to pools and ponds as they can become trapped and drown.
Please refrain from baiting, or feeding the Bandicoots as this can harm them. Contact WA Wildlife if you see an injured native animal.
Please take care with wildlife in Cockburn. If you feel that Bandicoots are at risk from vehicle strike in your area, you can contact the City and request temporary wildlife crossing signs be installed.
Please contact Environmental Services for more information on 08 9411 3444 or at email [email protected].