Bandicoots return to Sturt National Park after more than a centuryadmin
So we’re standing in thensouth exclosure of Wild Deserts. So we have two feral-free exclosuresnand both of them are 2000 hectares and this is the one where we did anrelease of Shark Bay bandicoots recently. Shark bay bandicoots until recentlynwere known as the western barred bandicoot. They’re actually the smallest bandicootnin the bandicoot family. They only weigh 250 grams maximum. They are very cute and very small,nwhich also makes them very suitable prey size for feral cats and foxes. And so it seems like the recordsnstarted to drop off as those species were reintroduced during European settlementnAnd that’s probably contributed to their decline in this area. We actually went and translocatednthese from a population in South Australia. So some of our team members flew overnon a charter flight, and spent the night catching them at a reserve called Arid Recovery,na very similar project to ours, in South Australia. And then we flew them back via charter airplanenand released them here just on dusk. We’ve just released these bandicootsninto this Wild Deserts area, which is really exciting. They’re the third species that we’ve introducednhere. And I guess what’s really exciting about itnis that we’re trying to now restore that food web. And they’re real little diggers,nso along with the bilbies that we’ve already got here,nwe’re starting to see the soil really turn over. And that gives great opportunitiesnfor lots of little invertebrates and catches water and nutrients. And we think that’s part ofnhow you start to transform these deserts back to what they were.