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Meet the southern brown bandicoot

Scientific name: Isoodon obesulus obesulus

Southern brown bandicoots have a stocky body with a short snout and short, rounded ears.
Southern brown bandicoot

Conservation status

Australian Government status: endangered
Victorian Government status: endangered


With short, rounded ears, a pointy snout, strong feet and a stocky body, the southern brown bandicoot was once widespread throughout Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs.

They prefer to live in areas with low, dense plants. Human residents sometimes spot them snuffling for food in back-yard gardens. These solitary creatures eat a variety of spiders, insects, ferns and fungi. Their food search often creates distinctive cone-shaped holes in the soil.

Unfortunately, these little critters are getting harder to find and are now listed as nationally endangered.

As Melbourne continues to grow, we need to ensure that southern brown bandicoot populations are protected and sustainable.

Read more about them in DEECA's Action Statement.

Where are they found?

South-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.


  • habitat loss
  • introduced predators, such as foxes and cats
  • fragmented populations
  • baits and poisons.

What we are doing

Find out by reading about the Southern Brown Bandicoot Program.

How you can help

If you live in a bandicoot area, you can help by keeping pets contained, looking out for bandicoots on the road and creating a bandicoot-friendly patch in your garden.

Contact the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne if you see a southern brown bandicoot.

You can also register your sighting on iNaturalist.

Page last updated: 12/04/24