The Lifecycle of Bandicoots
Bandicoots are found in variety of habitats, along the east coast
from North Queensland south into Victoria and Tasmania in Australia.
From rainforests to wet and dry woodlands, vegetated areas and even
suburban gardens, the bandicoots live in all kinds of habitat.
Mostly active at night, the bandicoots eat insects, spiders, seeds,
berries and various other similar kind of food. The bandicoots generally
take shelter in nests, made from piles of leaf litter scratched
together. These small omnivores have a rat-like appearance. These
solitary animals have pointy snout, humped back and a thin tail.
Breeding of Eastern Barred Bandicoot
The eastern barred bandicoot is solitary and spends most of its time
alone except when mating. The mother eastern barred bandicoot takes care
of its young ones. This nocturnal animal forages at night and sleeps
during the day. The nests of the eastern barred bandicoots are made of
leaves, twigs and grasses.
Having one of the quickest lifecycles of all mammals, the eastern barred
bandicoots wean their young ones by 2 months on their own. At one time,
these bandicoots can give birth to about five young bandicoots, whereas
the average is 2 to 3. Owing to the more number of nipples that the
eastern barred bandicoots have, the survival chance for the young ones
is also more. The females are capable of giving birth to up to five
litters each year.
After a gestation period of 13 days, a new eastern barred bandicoot is
born, which climbs up to its motherís pouch and weans for the next two
months. The young ones become sexually mature in 3Ĺ to 4 months, weigh
around 0.25 g and are about the size of a pea. The female can give birth
again soon after the previous young ones are milked. There has been a
drop in the number of Eastern Barred Bandicoots during drought, while
the rainfall helps in favourable breeding of the animals.
Breeding of Southern Brown Bandicoot
The Southern Brown Bandicoot reproduces quickly when the food is
abundant and can mate at any time of the year following heavy rainfall.
The female bandicoot can give birth up to six young bandicoots after
short gestation period of around 11-12 days. For about two months, the
young ones are fed milk by their mother in the pouch. After this period,
the young ones become independent and venture from the nest. The life
span of the bandicoots is around four years. The female bandicoots can
give birth twice or thrice each year.
Widespread across the southern Australia, the Southern Brown Bandicoot
is now restricted to a few isolated populations only though they can
reproduce fast. The reason for decrease in its population is the foxes
and feral cats.