IF you’ve seen a quenda recently, we want to hear from you.
The Department of Environment and Conservation and WWF-Australia have launched a community survey to locate populations of the quenda, also known as the southern brown bandicoot.
Quendas are native mammals about the size of a rabbit with brown fur, a long pointed nose, short ears and a short tail.
Although they have cousins in other states, the quenda sub-species is only found in South-West WA.
Bandicoots are all but gone from other Australian cities, but remarkably they can still be found around Perth in patches of urban bushland, golf courses, or suburban gardens.
They generally prefer to live near wetlands or waterways with plenty of low, dense vegetation.
Quendas are sometimes called ‘ecosystem engineers’ for their role in keeping bushland healthy.
As they dig into the soil for grubs, bulbs and fungi, they help aerate the soil, improve water penetration and spread useful fungi that support tree growth.
At about 30cm long and between 600g and 1.6kg, they are vulnerable to attack from foxes, dogs and cats.
Habitat loss to urban development and vehicle strike are also major threats to these small mammals.
We want to find out where quendas are currently living so we can compare this with previous surveys and work out if their numbers are changing.
If you’ve seen quendas, please contact either DEC or WWF with location details (GPS, Google map or street location), the date on which the animals were seen and an estimate of how many were present.
We are also interested in noting family groups with young quendas.
A photo to confirm the sighting would be ideal.
Residents can forward details of any sightings to Geoff Barrett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 9423 2907 or Katherine Howard at khoward@wwf. org.au or 9442 1203.
Katherine Howard, species conservation manager, WWF-Australia
Dr Geoff Barrett, Swan Region ecologist, Department of Environment and Conservation