NOCTURNAL marsupial the Eastern Barred Bandicoot could be the cutest native Australian animal but it is also one of the most vulnerable*.
The species is extinct in the wild and their survival is ensured only by breeding programs run by Zoos Victoria and their conservation partners.
Melbourne Zoo head vet Dr Michael Lynch yesterday gave two three-month-old female joeys their first check up and inserted microchips* so researchers can track their health once they are released into free-range populations later this year.
More than 550 Eastern Barred Bandicoots have been reintroduced into protected populations, three fenced reserves and a fourth population on Churchill Island where they are safe from foxes and cats, their two main predators.
There are around 1200 in total on mainland Australia with the remaining bandicoots, including 22 joeys born this year, housed in insurance* programs at participating* conservation organisations.
Zoos Victoria began managing the captive* breeding program in 1991 and plays an important role in researching behaviour, breeding and new monitoring* techniques to help grow the bandicoot population.
vulnerable: in danger
microchips: tiny pieces of equipment that collects information and allows the animal to be located
insurance: just in case other things don’t work
participating: joining in
captive: not in the wild
monitoring: collecting information
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Activity 1 . Fact File
Write a fact file on the Eastern Barred Bandicoot from the facts and information contained in the Kids News story.
Extension: Create an acrostic poem using the word ‘Bandicoot’, incorporating some facts about the Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
Time: Allow 25 minutes to complete this task.
Curriculum links: English
Activity 2 . Endangered Species
The Eastern Barred Bandicoot is extinct in the wild. Lots of other animals are endangered, meaning they are facing extinction.
Research an endangered species and present the following information as a slide show presentation on a digital device.
Name of species:
Where they live:
What they eat:
How the species can be saved:
Include some pictures throughout the slide show.
You can use the following website;
Extension: Research some native Australian animals that are endangered and write the main reasons as to why these animals are endangered or extinct.
Time: Allow 50 minutes to complete this task.
Curriculum links: English, Science, Digital Technologies
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