Nature conservation

Threatened species

Southern Brown Bandicoot (eastern) - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Isoodon obesulus obesulus
Conservation status in NSW: Endangered
Commonwealth status: Endangered
Profile last updated: 01 Dec 2017


Adult Southern Brown Bandicoots have a body length of about 300 mm, a short (120 mm), thin tail with a pointed end, and weigh between 400-1600 grams. The species has a relatively short nose and ears, dark grey or yellowish brown fur on its upper body, tail and feet and a creamy white belly. In contrast the more common Long-nosed Bandicoot has a long nose and ears, pink tail and white feet. Bandicoots may be confused with the slightly larger Potoroos, but the latter can be differentiated mainly by their thick 'wallaby-like' tails.


The Southern Brown Bandicoot has a patchy distribution. It is found in south-eastern NSW, east of the Great Dividing Range south from the Hawkesbury River, southern coastal Victoria and the Grampian Ranges, south-eastern South Australia, south-west Western Australia and the northern tip of Queensland.

Habitat and ecology

  • Southern Brown Bandicoots are largely crepuscular (active mainly after dusk and/or before dawn). They are generally only found in heath or open forest with a heathy understorey on sandy or friable soils.
  • They feed on a variety of ground-dwelling invertebrates and the fruit-bodies of hypogeous (underground-fruiting) fungi. Their searches for food often create distinctive conical holes in the soil.
  • Males have a home range of approximately 5-20 hectares whilst females forage over smaller areas of about 2-3 hectares.
  • Nest during the day in a shallow depression in the ground covered by leaf litter, grass or other plant material. Nests may be located under Grass trees Xanthorrhoea spp., blackberry bushes and other shrubs, or in rabbit burrows. The upper surface of the nest may be mixed with earth to waterproof the inside of the nest.
  • Mating occurs any time of the year, usually following heavy rain. Two or three litters of 2-4 young may be produced annually. The gestation period of 11-12 days is the shortest known of any marsupial while young remarkably become independent around 60 days after being born.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Known None
Other StateSA Known None
Other StateVIC Known None
South East CornerBateman Known None
South East CornerEast Gippsland Lowlands Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Known None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None