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Wildside Sanctuary - Eco Couples Retreat - Hawkesbury - Blue Mountains

Blue Mountains Bandicoots or Easter Bilby?

Aussies have embraced the Easter Bilby. But let’s spread love to all Bandicoot species this April.

Every Easter, Australia is crawling with pesky rabbits – of the furred and chocolate variety. Easter Bilbies hit the scene in the 90s, but they are just one of twenty species of bandicoot, a creature that’s rabbit-sized, travels at high speeds, digs burrows and breeds like the proverbial! Unlike other marsupials, they can produce several litters a year, and even hold the world record for the shortest pregnancy of just 12 days. The bandicoot pouch faces backwards, so it doesn’t fill with dirt while digging. But it’s mostly tough love in the bandicoot household, with teens kicked out of the hollow at just 4 months of age, by which time mum is pregnant again. These guys make rabbits look like monks.

Bandicoots are also important ecological engineers. Alongside lyrebirds, brushturkeys, wombats and echidnas, they provide a mulching service that increases nutrient cycling in the soil and reduces the combustible fuel load, aka bushfire hazard reduction. A bandicoot can turn over 13kg of soil in one night, leaving neat, scattered diggings featuring the conical “nose poke” shape, which create an ideal inbuilt water catchment site for seed germination.

Bandicoots are omnivores and will leave the safety of dense bush at night to forage manicured lawns, home to juicy grubs and worms. They can be hard to spot, but easier to hear, making grunting and snuffling noises while digging, and a high-pitched squeal when frightened or looking for lurve. If startled, they have a famously high jump and will career off at top speed.

But it’s not all love, larvae, and landscaping for our furry friends. Populations have been dramatically reduced by habitat loss and predation by feral cats and foxes. Long-nosed bandicoots are our local species of Blue Mountains Bandicoots, and they are relatively common throughout the blue mountains area, largely thanks to their, erm, passionate dating habits.

When you walk through the trails and gardens at Wildside Sanctuary you will often see the small diggings and nose pokes left by these Blue Mountains bandicoots. Select the dates for your blue mountains romantic getaway, visit the Book Online page of our website.

Read how the Eastern Barred Bandicoot was brought back from the brink of extinction in Victoria in Australian Geographic.