, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 45-52
Date: 11 Jul 2008

Attitudes to native bandicoots in an urban environment

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Abstract

Urbanization along the eastern seaboard of Australia has increased the potential for conflict between humans and wildlife. The northern suburbs of Sydney are home to the southern brown (Isoodon obesulus) and the long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta). Both are known to enter yards of home owners causing a disturbance to yard plantings and an interaction with domestic pets. Understanding the driving factors behind the public’s perception of bandicoots will enable wildlife managers to develop effective and socially acceptable conservation strategies. Six hundred and thirty questionnaires were distributed to the residents bordering Ku-ring-gai Chase and Garigal National Park in Sydney, Australia, to assess the sources of conflict. Eighty-three percent of respondents had experienced bandicoot interactions and 27% had experienced interactions on a daily basis. This interaction with bandicoots influenced respondents’ perception of a bandicoot as a nuisance or pest. The age of the resident and pet ownership status also influenced respondents’ attitudes. Contrary to anecdotal reports, there was an overall positive response from the community. The information gained from this survey will inform the development community-based management strategies for the bandicoots of northern Sydney.

Communicated by W. Lutz