Species: Western barred bandicoot (Perameles bougainville)
Status: Endangered (EN)
Interesting Fact: It has one of the shortest gestation periods of any mammal, just 12 days long!
The western barred bandicoot is a small, nocturnal marsupial mammal found only in Australia. It is a solitary species preferring to build its own nest, which it sleeps in during the day. As with other marsupials, the female possesses a pouch which the young will occupy after being born. Western barred bandicoot young are born just 12 days after being conceived! The young remain in the pouch to suckle and develop further for 45 to 60 days, and by two and a half months old they are ready to disperse on their own.
Thought at one point to be extinct, the western barred bandicoot is restricted to just two islands off the coast of Australia. Its disappearance from mainland Australia is thought to be mainly due to predation by introduced foxes and feral cats. Captive breeding efforts are currently underway in order to re-introduce this species back to its former range, once introduced predators have been eradicated.
Find out more about the western barred bandicoot here.
Becky Moran, ARKive Media Researcher