Bandicoot Super Highway Project

A community-led effort to save the Southern Brown Bandicoot

  • YEAR: 2019
  • STATE: South Australia
  • FOCUS AREAS: Saving Species/SDG 15: Life on Land

Environmental Challenge


The Southern Brown Bandicoot

The Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon Obesulus) is a unique creature and a vital “ecosystem engineer”. However, with numbers declining and the species listed as “endangered” across Australia (EPBC), efforts to protect these precious marsupials and their role in maintaining our native vegetation are crucial. 

Unfortunately, loss of and disconnection of habitat, predation by cats, dogs and foxes as well as increasing frequency of bushfires are threatening the survival of the Southern Brown Bandicoot.


Why Are Bandicoots Important?

Southern Brown Bandicoots are native-ground dwelling marsupials that are sometimes mistaken for rats, but they are much bigger, stouter, and have round ears, a long-pointed nose and a short tail. Aside from their cuteness, these “ecosystem engineers” play a vital environmental role as their foraging habits involve turning over up to four tonnes of soil each annually, improving soil quality and distributing soil fungi, which in turn supports healthy plant growth. Additionally, their activities create small pits that collect water and leaf litter, aiding the germination of native seeds.






Solution: Protecting Southern Brown Bandicoots

Once common in South Australia, the Southern Brown Bandicoot is the last of the 8 bandicoot species that were originally found in SA. 

In response to this urgent situation, a community-led project, the Bandicoot Superhighway Project (BSH) was founded to help save the Southern Brown Bandicoot from extinction.

The project re-connects, protects and improves bandicoot habitat in a biodiversity hotspot in the Mount Lofty Ranges with many community groups, government agencies and other stakeholders working together in order to create a safe haven for these unique creatures.

How can we reduce the extinction threats for a fragmented population of Southern Brown Bandicoots?

Expanding Habitat: by establishing and restoring suitable areas throughout the region.

Enhancing Connectivity & Resilience: by creating connected corridors between isolated subpopulations.

Community Engagement: by involving the community and raising awareness to garner more significant support and understanding for Bandicoot conservation.

Ecological Burns and Weed Control:  Using controlled burns to maintain and improve habitat quality, along with meticulous weed control to protect native vegetation.

Translocation Trials: The Bandicoot Superhighway Project plans to conduct trials for translocating Bandicoots to expand their range and distribution.

Impact: Reviving Habitats and Safeguarding Southern Brown Bandicoots

The Bandicoot Superhighway demonstrates the power of community-led efforts in preserving our natural heritage for generations to come. At the present time, the project has achieved an outstanding environmental impact: 


The Bandicoot Superhighway Project not only contributes to the conservation of a critically endangered species but also improves community health, fosters economic prosperity, and strengthens the bond between people and nature. The ongoing dedication and commitment of all involved parties highlight the importance of collective action in safeguarding our precious biodiversity.


Project gallery

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