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Bandicoots and Bilbies: Peramelemorphia

Bandicoots, Bilbies, And People

Aboriginal (native) people hunted bandicoots and bilbies for meat and fur, however these animals were abundant, and hunting did not cause a major decrease in their populations. The coming of European colonists to Australia and New Guinea began the decline of many species of bandicoots and bilbies. Europeans changed the ecology of Australia. They introduced non-native species such as the red fox and the domestic cat, both of which prey on bandicoots and bilbies. They also introduced rabbits that compete with them for food. In addition, Europeans introduced cattle and sheep ranching to Australia. This reduced the habitat suitable for many species of bandicoots and bilbies. Finally, native people regularly burned the grassland, and the plants that grew after the burn provide a good habitat for bandicoots and bilbies. This practice changed after large scale livestock ranching began, creating less diverse habitats that did not support these native species well.

The number of bandicoots and bilbies has decreased dramatically since the beginning of the twentieth century. Three species have gone extinct. Conservation organizations are tying to provide safe habitat for these animals by fencing preserves and controlling predators, animals that hunt them for food. However, people living in suburban areas still tend to think of bandicoots and bilbies as pests, because they dig up lawns and gardens when hunting for food.

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceMammalsBandicoots and Bilbies: Peramelemorphia - Physical Characteristics, Diet, Behavior And Reproduction, Bandicoots, Bilbies, And People, Conservation Status - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT