It has been a very exciting week for the conservation of the beautiful Mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoot!
Our bandicoots, or EBBs as we like to call them, have been released to Woodlands Historic Park to start a new population for the future! EBBs were once found at Woodlands, but a combination of issues like drought and particularly the introduced red fox, saw the population fail and the last of the bandicoots die out in 2005. Now, our fantastic partners in Conservation Volunteers Australia and Parks Victoria have fixed the issues and made a brand-new fox free fence to protect the new population!
Bandicoots bred at Melbourne Zoo have joined animals for release from Hamilton Community Reserve, Mt Rothwell and Mooramong to make sure we have healthy founding animals with good genetic diversity.
We will continue to release more founding animals, monitor the population and their breeding, and translocate animals in the future to ensure we keep a genetically healthy long-term group. It is hoped that in the near future, hundreds of EBBs will call Woodlands home.
All of the mainland EBBs alive today can be traced back to animals bred at Melbourne Zoo over 20 years ago – they would be extinct if not for us. With the EBB still classed as extinct in the wild in Victoria, it is a wonderful step forwards in their conservation to release them to live as wild at Woodlands!
Zoos Victoria is working with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Parks Victoria, the University of Melbourne, Conservation Volunteers Australia and all members of the EBB Recovery Team to Fight Extinction for the amazing Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
You can watch a video of the first EBBs being released to their new home– there is no better feeling than watching the animals we love return to the wild!