The Golden bandicoot is a darn cute little critter and has been missing from the Red Centre region of Central Australia – until now.


Fourty Golden bandicoots have been reintroduced to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary on Ngalia-Warlpiri and Luritja Country in the Red Centre.

This event is particularly historic, as it wouldn’t have been possible without the gifting of these marsupials from the Ngarinyin People, the Traditional Custodians of Wilinggin Country in the Kimberley, WA from where the sole natural mainland population resides.


Tom Sayers, Australian Wildlife Conservancy Wildlife Ecologist, processing a bandicoot at Charnley River | Photo by Issie Connell


This particular species used to be one of the most commonly found small mammals in the arid regions of Australia and was once an important source of food for First Nations People. However Golden bandicoots are now listed as ‘threatened’ due to feral animals and changes in the fire regimes since colonisation. 

The 40 that were released were gently transported around 1000km in pet packs from the Kimberley to Central Australia by Zarharny Charles and Nerelle Umbagai, two WAC Wulagura (Strong Women) Rangers, as well as Dr Karen Young and Samantha Mulvena, ecologists with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. 

The bandicoots were given health checks and 20 of them were tagged in order to monitor their health for the next four weeks. Then, all the cuties were released into the 9,450-hectare feral predator-free fenced area at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary. 

Check it out!


Traditional Owner Douglas Dixon and family release a Golden bandicoot into Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary’s 9,450-hectare feral predator-free area

This has been a long-awaited reintroduction that required years of planning and research to successfully achieve,’ Dr Kanowski explained.

‘As ecosystem engineers, Golden bandicoots play an important ecological role – turning over soil, which increases the rate of leaf litter decomposition, soil production and nutrient cycling.’ 

Up to 60 extra Golden bandicoots will be released in the same sanctuary later this month, coming from Barrow Island in Western Australia. 

Good luck out there little guys!


Images thanks to Brad Leue/Australian Wildlife Conservancy