The southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) occurs across the periphery of southern and eastern Australia as a series of isolated regional populations. Historical records and recent surveys conducted for I. obesulus indicate that it has disappeared or decreased significantly from many parts of its former range. Vegetation clearance, habitat fragmentation, feral predators and fire have all been implicated in the decline of the species.
This paper examines the distribution of I. obesulus in the Portland region of south-western Victoria. Historical records of I. obesulus were compiled from the specimen collection of Museum Victoria, the Atlas of Victorian Wildlife, Portland Field Naturalists’ Club records and anecdotal sources. Field surveys were conducted to determine the current distribution of I. obesulus in the study area based on evidence of its foraging activity.
The historical records reveal limited information: most are clustered around centres of human activity, indicating observational bias. The field surveys demonstrate that .I. obesulus occurs in the Portland region as a series of local populations. Each local population is associated with a patch of remnant native vegetation separated from neighbouring patches by dispersal barriers. Within these habitat remnants the occurrence of the species is sporadic. Approximately 69% of the potential habitat is managed by the Forests Service, 31% is managed by Parks Victoria, and less than 0.5% is held under other tenures. Spatial isolation of habitat remnants, fires and feral predators are the main threats to I. obesulus in the Portland region.
|Author||Rees, M. and David Paull, D.|
|Secondary title||Wildlife Research|