Tag Archives: Southern Brown Bandicoot

De-listing of the Southern Brown Bandicoot- an act of vandalism to promote urban sprawl

Delisting of the Southern Brown Bandicoot

The Director

Marine and Freshwater Species Conservation Section

Wildlife, Heritage and Marine Division

Department of the Environment

PO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601

I’ve been involved with Southern Brown Bandicoots (SBB) for more than 40 years. I live in Frankston where I remember SBBs all over the Mornington Peninsula, in the Frankston area and in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve where they were recognised as the largest and strongest colony in the region. Sadly, I have observed them gradually disappearing from all of these areas and in many of these places they have become extinct.

How could this be allowed to happen? Since 2001, went on the endangered list, a SBB recovery group was established. SBBs were selected as the flagship species in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve so they would receive special attention. At least five major workshops were held involving hundreds of people, among them scientists, government agencies, private consultants and landholders. In addition, countless meetings of the SBB recovery team were held at many places. During this time the Victorian government created strategies for the recovery and protection of them but none work.

Sadly, no SBBs or habitat areas were recovered anywhere in this region. At the Pines, where some SBBs were still remaining, at least $120,000 was spent on fox and cat control. It was unsuccessful and the last SBBs were lost as well. It is now high time to admit to the grand failure in protecting this species especially in this region.

As I understand, SBBs are not a corridor living species and need to be provided with habitat in large reserves like Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and could be in the Pines Reserve, Briars Park in Mt Martha & several other reserves that are surrounded by a predator-proof fence. We desperately need some insurance colonies before we gamble with the rest that still survive in the wild.

If this current scenario continues, we will soon reach the point where the SBB species will collapse as the Eastern Barred Bandicoot did. At the lowest stage, only 50 animals survived.

Captive breeding had to prevent them from becoming extinct on the mainland. Even after numbers increased, the government managed to make some huge blunders with them.


(image: This little fellow was photographed in the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens.  This area is ~350 hectares of native bushland including an “Australian Garden”.  http://www.chappo1.com/brown%20bandicoot.html )

Why have we not learned from this? My question is: what is gained by delisting SBBs? Will the government be able to save some money on fox and cat control and will developers receive the green light to build houses in bandicoot habitat? We certainly have not been told everything. To declare SBBs safe because in one or two areas where fox control slightly increased their numbers is absolutely ridiculous. Take that money away and see what will happen.

Hans Brunner M. App. Sc. Deakin University

HB:  While threats, and extinction, are normal processes of evolution, what we have now is not normal, or avoidable.  The loss of another iconic native mammal is a deliberate action, a choice to prioritize housing growth, urban sprawl, over habitats. 

This de-listing of the SBB is not because their threats have been mitigated, and now there are abundant, safe colonies!  On the contrary, their habitats will be invaded and their lives destroyed.

In a void of manufacturing, mining, innovation and technological advances, housing growth- driven by high levels of immigration – is a major industry now.  It means swallowing up grasslands, native vegetation, digging up fertile soils, and stagnating it all with concrete, roads and housing!

De-listing the SSB is an act of vandalism, and a sacrificing of another species in Australia to the already growing list of threatened and extinct species. AWPC Editor

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DELWP submission: Protecting Victorian Environment Biodiversity

We thank the Andrew’s Government for keeping its commitment to review a number of Victoria’s Environmental laws and to ensure our States’ biodiversity and environment is protected adequately.

Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc members attended DEWLP community consultation meetings recently. There was a lack of representation of wildlife species as a valued measure of biodiversity. Birdlife Australia was the only wildlife advocate represented. Despite the lack of wildlife groups, Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) were highlighted in both the draft paper and at the community consultation meetings. This augers poorly for Victoria’s biodiversity.

Victorians acting for Nature – It is an abiding principle that all Victorians should interact with Victoria’s biodiversity and connect with nature, as often as possible. But what do we consider to be good interactions ? It was suggested interactions the public could have with biodiversity and with animals is hunting and fishing. We are most concerned by this statement. How does DEWLP consider hunting & fishing beneficial to people, and how does it enhance Victoria’s biodiversity and environment? It is in our view that activities like hunting are inhumane to wildlife, destructive to the environment and restrictive to other users and groups accessing nature.

When it comes to encouraging people to connect with nature and to wildlife, DEWLP and the Victorian Government should instead encourage people to join wildlife care/rescue groups and wildlife survey groups. Volunteering and working to rescue wildlife can be beneficial in many ways, but it also can be exhausting and draining for those who fight to defend native animals. Therefore, it is important that DEWLP and the Victorian government support volunteers wherever possible.

Other Management Challenges (Better, Smarter Management of our Biodiversity) In order to save biodiversity, we need to plan for and understand our Ecological Vegetation Classes, and Fauna and Flora instead of trying to control/manage them. The decline of biodiversity and other management challenges listed on page 71 of the draft (including native environmental weeds, over abundant wildlife, pest animals and weeds as well as managing bushfires) share the same failings. It is the way that we as a species exploit the environment for a myriad of reasons. We cannot manage or control flora and fauna species to an equal balance, especially when we do not address actions that we as a society create. These create imbalances more often than not which leads to more local extinctions.

In the draft Report about kangaroos, Noisy Minors and sweet pittosporums are listed as native species that have become a problem. Kangaroos are listed in the draft as ‘can exert high grazing pressure on native plants and wild flowers, a bit like rabbits, and can destroy habitat that ground dwelling native animals may need to survive’. Where is the evidence for this statement?

It is on the Departments’ website, in a case study about the Woodlands Historic Park! Kangaroos were fenced in for the reintroduction of Eastern Barred Bandicoots? Kangaroos are a species that move across the environment grazing short grass and reducing fuel loads. Fencing this animal in, and reducing its capacity to move through the landscape will have a negative effect on the landscape. However the environmental effects are not only going to be limited to areas where the animal is restricted. It will also have an environmental impact from where the animals have been restricted.

Noisy minors are mentioned in the draft as ‘a native honeyeater that aggressively excludes other native birds from favoured woodland habitat. Where woodland has declined or become fragmented, competition for habitat resources increases; the Noisy minor has a significant impact on the survival of other birds.’ It is nor the Noisy minor that is the problem, but woodlands decline, fragmentation and the need for increased resources.

Native plants like pittosporums and other noxious weeds have become important habitat for both plants & animals. While it is important to remove these plants, its’ more important to do so in a sensitive manner, one that does not further impact on our biodiversity. Sweet pittosporum can be important nesting habitat for the Eastern Yellow Robins, while Cherry ballarts (an epiphyte shrub) can use its roots to grow from pittosporums.
Threatened species National Threatened Species Day is the 7th September each year. It is celebrated or commiserated (depending on your view), as it was the day the last Tasmanian tiger died, forever relegated to the pages of history. We should and can learn from this sad episode in our nation’s history. Tasmanian Tigers were hunted to extinction primarily because they were perceived as a pest. In 2016 the Vic Government approved the cull of 25,000 kangaroos for the pet food industry’s ongoing trial. The sober reality is there is no known population of kangaroo numbers in Victoria.

Do we accept such drastic decisions about our wildlife, when we don’t even know the facts about the kangaroo species. It’s time to review a department responsible for both the protection of kangaroos and  issues An Authority to Control (Kill) Wildlife Permits (ATCW). The responsibility we have is to fight extinction and ensure the survival of our heritage. I have two daughters age 10 and 7. In their lifetime, it’s become just about impossible for them to view an Orange bellied parrot in the wild, or a southern brown bandicoot on the Mornington Peninsula. It is essential that we have up to date recovery plans and action statements for all threatened species and implement them for future generations.

Linking our society and economy to the environment,  In stead of linking our society and economy to the environment we should instead be linking our society, health, well being, heritage and history to and with the environment. There is more to the environment than having a financial need. There will be opportunities for those who wish pay for an experience in nature, but importantly to understand is that Victoria’s biodiversity and environment values has other qualities than those of a financial one.

Accounting for the environment:

The costs of logging old growth forests in the central highlands and East Gippsland are outdated. They continue to push threatened species closer to extinction. One such animal is the Leadbeaters possum, it was rediscovered over 20 years after it was thought to be extinct. The possum was rediscovered in the central highlands, where its prime habitat is being logged. The rediscovery of the Leadbeaters or fairy possum was a big deal at the time and as such named Victoria’s faunal emblem. It actually was the first flora and faunal emblem used in Australia. How does any extractive industry (especially one that runs at a cost such as Vic forests) account for the loss of a species, like that of the Leadbeaters possum. So we call for the creation of the Great Forest National Park in the Central highlands. We also call for investment in to the renewable energy sector and the phasing out of the out dated energy sectors that cause climate change causing pollutions. This environmental counting will give species threatened with extinction from climate change a better chance of survival into the future.

We would like to know if environmental accounting takes into account the financial sacrifices of those who rescue wildlife or defend the environment in VCAT or many other court proceedings? One such group is Save Tootgarook Swamp Inc, who have a VCAT hearing coming up P2704/2015 which is a development application which still has out standing enforcement orders for clearing habitat for the critically endangered Australasian bittern.

Ministers forward – Don’t let this draft document become nothing like other previous drafts, white and green papers before it, from previous governments. The more ministers who write about the values of our environment only to leave office with the environment in a worse state. We’ll makes new efforts and obtain statements from future politicians look like mere rhetoric.


Australian Wildlife Protection Council Inc takes pride in Victoria’s fauna and advocates for all wildlife to flourish, evolve and survive into the future despite their ability to survive climate change, and their ability to adapt with human developments or their conservation status. We connect with nature in a myriad of ways including the pain and distress caused by the suffering of wildlife and destruction of their environment

We thank the government for this opportunity to contribute to the future of Victoria’s Biodiversity 2036.

Kind regards,
Craig Thomson
Wildlife Planning Officer, Australian Wildlife Protection Council

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Possible Federal Government EPBC de-listing of endangered species – Southern Brown Bandicoot.

In 2014, a Mammal Action Plan (MAP) was set up by the Federal Government Environment Department under authority of Minister Greg Hunt.
Among many recommendations put forward by the MAP, five early recommendations included Isoodon obesulus obesulus (Southern Brown Bandicoot (South-East)) which has been tentatively recommended to be de-listed from EPBC protection.

The reason given was that there have been too many referrals.
This does not mean SBB are in surplus, it simply reflects the obvious increasing number of applications for approval of residential/commercial development and infrastructure in locations where there are listed species and environmental constraints.

If SBB is de-listed from EPBC protection , current conservation management strategies will no longer be in place and future survival of SBB could be at risk where habitat loss occurs.

The process of listing or de-listing recommended species has several stages, one of which is to receive public comment via submissions. This opportunity will close on Friday 30th January 2015.

Due to absence of information about the MAP proposal to de-list SBB, there is little time.

Please act by lodging a submission requesting that SBB remain listed under the protection of EPBC legislation.

Gloria O’Connor

Environment South East Alliance
26th January 2015
Addendum:  SBB are now extinct at Mornington Peninsula and Frankston.

SBB were in Oakleigh in 1980’s, quarries, market gardens but eventually became extinct.
SBB also went extinct in City of Kingston (Braeside Reserve, Rowan Woodlands, The Grange) in 1990’s.

This proposal is simply based on greed for housing profits, and a blatant elimination of a natural constraint to more housing developments on crucial SBB habitat!  This vandalism of the EPBC Act, by an Environment Minister, is unacceptable!

Forward comment to:
Email: species.consultation@environment.gov.au
Mail to: Marine and Freshwater Species Conservation Section Wildlife, Heritage and Marine Division Department of the Environment, PO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601
View consultation documentation available on Dept. of Environment website or by circulated information through community group networks.

Southern_Brown_Bandicoot_juvenile(image: juvenile Southern Brown Bandicoot)

Update: Submissions can be accepted up to the 27th February.

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Southern Brown Bandicoot’s declining numbers in south east Victoria

THE federal Department of the Environment earlier this was trying to take the southern brown bandicoot off its threatened species list. However, Federal Environment minister Greg Hunt rejected claims his government doing this. He was responding to an article pub­lished in The Times last month (‘Bandicoot under threat from govt’, The Times 26/1/15).

In 2001 when the species was put on the endangered list, a SBB recovery groups was establish and they were selected as the flagship species in the Western Port Biosphere Reserve, to receive special attention. Hundreds of people, including scientists and government agencies, private consultants and landholders had workshops, and the Victorian government created strategy after strategy to protect them, but nothing worked.

A proposal for habitat corridors for the SBB in the draft Biodiversity Conservation Strategy, released in 2011, was withdrawn by the State Government and revised using consultation. The proposal is that there should be at least two 80m wide corridors leading to reserves to the south and reserves or Green Wedge land to the east – to ensure the sustainability of the species. The former Growling Grass Frog corridor along Clyde Creek should be reinstated.

There is too much of the Biodiversity Conservation Strategy that’s left to the Precinct Structure Planning process, rather than an independent role of a monitor to ensure impartiality.

In March 2014, the Coalition state government removed habitat corridors from its plans to protect the southern brown bandicoot in the southeast. and DEPI and Parks Victoria declared a secret war on Southern Brown Bandicoot ~ April 2014

Once common in the south-east, now, just two viable populations remain in the region – at Royal Botanic Gardens in Cranbourne and in undeveloped parts of Koo Wee Rup at the northern end of Western Port. A third population on Quail Island in Western Port has been decimated by wild pigs released on the island by hunters. The SBB is listed as an important component of the Ecological Character of the Western Port Bay Ramsar site and there is continuity of local populations of bandicoots with areas traversed by the Koo Wee Rup Bypass

Southern_Brown_Bandicoot_Victoria(image: Southern Brown Bandicoot, Cranbourne Vic 1984)

They proposed to conduct regulars fox and cat control programs in the Pines for the protection of this species, knowing very well that SBB’s are not there anymore.(Already costing well over $ 100.000.00) They refuse to install a predator-proof fence around the Pines which is the only realistic way to protect the SBB in the Pines ones re-introduced. (They just want that money)

Ecologist Hans Brunner, from Frankston, has been involved with Southern Brown Bandicoots (SBB) for more than 40 years. He vividly remembers finding SBB all over the Mornington Peninsula, in the Frankston area, and especially in the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve which had the larges and strongest colony in the region. Sadly, they have silently disappeared and in many places they’ve become extinct!

How could this happen?

Local wildlife expert Mr Legg said evidence of SBB populations recovering in a couple of places in Australia was no reason to remove legal protection. He had “reluctantly watched the crash and local extinction of SBB populations across the southeastern suburbs of greater Melbourne and within the Western Port catchment” over the past three decades.

The SBB is facing strong competition from housing growth, and urbanisation. The number of dwellings in Mornington Peninsula Shire is forecast to grow from 84,177 in 2011 to 95,955 in 2026. It’s the housing industry that’s become Victoria’s greatest growth industry, and the urban growth boundary is a slippery concept, that keeps expanding with population growth.

At least $120,000 was spent on fox and cat control, while some SBBs remained. It was unsuccessful. Protecting SBB in the region is a grand failure. What’s needed are large reserves surrounded by predator-proof fences. Some insurance colonies are need, with the rest surviving in the wild.

What’s to be gained by de-listing the SBB? Money will be saved by not having to spend in fox and cat control, and developers will be given more permits to build housing.

Jennifer Cunich, executive director of the Property Council, of course would not endorse any expansion of wildlife corridors. She dismissed any science, and any scheme would be of little benefit. It would be like a brewery recommending an AA group!

The SBB is restricted to remnant and exotic vegetation along drains and road reserves in the project area and surrounding landscape which provides cover from predators.

The VicRoads Bypass alignment intersects habitat for the SBB along the existing Healesville Koo Wee Rup Road to the south of Manks Road and core habitat of the Dalmore Koo Wee Rup Cluster of bandicoots at Railway Road/disused South Gippsland Railway Line and levees of the Bunyip River Drain Complex.

There’s no room for complacency, or sitting back watching decline. What’s needed now is to repopulate the Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve, and protect the colonies at Cranbourne Botanic gardens. Australia has the highest mammal extinction rate of the modern world, and any “fauna” reserve and green wedges must have local native species. It’s easy to say there are “plenty” elsewhere, but extinction is a process, not one event, and allowing local extinctions is part of a process that MUST stop!

Screenshot from 2015-05-07 10:44:08

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