It’s good to know these animals still survive in our landscape, but so sad that this is the only way most people get to see them. Long-nosed Bandicoots (Perameles nasuta – below) and Brush-tailed Phascogales (Phascogale tapoatafa – left) are both small marsupials and both have become quite rare in Victoria in recent decades.
The Phascogale is a carnivorous marsupial in the Family Dasyuridae, which includes quolls, devils and thylacines, though most species are small and inconspicuous, like dunnarts, antechinus and planigales. Like other dasyurids, Brush-tailed Phascogales have a mouth full of sharp, pointy teeth, an open, cup-like pouch and all their toes are separate (not the case for kangaroos, possums & bandicoots, which have ‘grooming toes’). They are excellent climbers and have a curious life-history strategy (& more) that you can explore here, or here. This poor animal, a sub-adult female, was run over by a car on Boho Rd, just near Sawpit Gully Rd, in the region burnt by the recent 2013 Boho fires (map below) and found by Geoff Lucas.
Bandicoots are in the Family Peramelidae and the Long-nosed Bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)is the only species of this group found in the Strathbogie Ranges. Bandicoots are ground-dwelling and omnivorous, digging in the soil for worms, beetles, grubs, fungi and the succulent basal stems of select plants. They are secretive, nocturnal animals that stick to areas of dense cover. This roadkill was found in the Strathbogie Township, just near Spring Creek Bridge by Barb Selby and Bett Mitchell. Whilst sad, it’s definite proof that this species survives locally and is good reason to protect the dense shrubby and grassy habitat that still occurs in the vicinity – especially along local creek-lines and tea-tree swamps.
Both records will be submitted to the Victorian Biodiversity Atlas.