Bandicoot boom at Hobart’s old zoo

FEBRUARY marked the 100-year anniversary of the opening of Hobart’s famous Beaumaris Zoo.

Known as the residence of the last Tasmanian Tiger, the Beaumaris Zoo is once again home to an endangered native Tasmanian family – the bandicoot.

With the Domain a popular destination for walkers, runners and bike riders, the zoo site has become a refuge for bandicoots in the area. Extinct in the wild interstate, Tasmania is now the stronghold for these tiny, shy creatures.

“It is heart-warming to see that hopefully the zoo can be part of the preservation of another striped Tasmanian, the eastern barred bandicoot,” Hobart City Council Program Leader Fire and Biodiversity Jenny Styger said.

“The site offers the bandicoots a mosaic of vegetation and bushes that is fenced from dogs, making the site the perfect habitat for this endangered species.”

Once home to a host of animals including leopards, lions, elephants, zebras and polar bears, Beaumaris Zoo was most famously known as the site where the last known thylacine died in captivity.

The date of the last Tasmanian Tiger’s death, 7 September, is now National Threatened Species Day.

Hobart Sustainability in Infrastructure Portfolio chair Bill Harvey said the City of Hobart had been playing its part in trying to ensure bandicoots did not join thylacines in the pages of history.

“Hobart was the first capital city in Australia to declare a climate and biodiversity emergency and takes protecting wildlife seriously,” he said.

“The city’s Backyard Bandicoot project aims at helping Hobart residents assist in the bandicoot’s survival by providing tips on how to report sightings, keeping dogs and cats under control at night or walking your pet dog through bushlands.

“There are also tips and advice on how to create and maintain wildlife habitat in your garden, including planting native species that provide food and shelter for bandicoots.”

To find out more about the Bandicoot Buddy program visit www. hobartcity.com.au

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