Cumberland Ecology was commissioned by Northern Beaches Council (South) to undertake the 2016 annual monitoring of Long-nosed Bandicoot (Perameles nasuta) in the urban-residential area of Eastern Hill, Manly.
Annual monitoring of Long-nosed Bandicoot across Eastern Hill began in 2012 as a collaborative project between the former Manly Council and the University of Sydney, with involvement from residents of Eastern Hill. The monitoring project is known as The Long-nosed Bandicoot Community Education, Engagement, Monitoring and Research (CEEMR) Project and is conducted concurrently with the biannual monitoring program undertaken by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) within bushland at North Head.
The Long-nosed Bandicoot CEEMR Project is aimed at monitoring the distribution and abundance of the Long-nosed Bandicoot population within the residential area of Eastern Hill and will provide a better understanding of how this important threatened native species survives within suburban areas, and how increasing urbanisation may be affecting their numbers.
Two trapping sessions are conducted per year, with the first taking place in May and the second in November. Each session takes place over 3-5 nights and involves 96 traps set up strategically within the locality. Captured bandicoots are then micro-chipped to estimate population numbers and to identify any recaptures from previous years. Cumberland Ecology recently completed the May 2016 monitoring session, with bandicoot surveys scheduled to continue in November later this year.
The results of the May 2016 monitoring data suggest that the Eastern Hill bandicoot population is continuing to grow. Overall, 34 Long-nosed Bandicoots were recorded from 48 captures during the May monitoring session. This is the highest number of individuals captured since urban monitoring began in 2012. The number of bandicoots captured this session includes four breeding females, which indicate that females within the urban environment are continuing to breed into the cooler months. As has been observed in previous monitoring years, females appear to avoid the lower elevations and remain closer to intact areas of bushland.
The number of bandicoots re-captured in May 2016 compared with the number of bandicoots that were micro-chipped in 2015 is quite low. A possible reason for this may be that the Long-nosed Bandicoot population in the Eastern Hill area could have a high turnover of individuals, potentially due to high mortality and/or reproductive outputs.
A second monitoring session will be carried out in November to conclude the 2016 annual monitoring of Long-nosed Bandicoot. Comparisons will be made between the data collected from the May and November monitoring sessions, and between the 2016 data and data collected in previous years. This will provide insights on population demographics, population size and home ranges. Finally a comparison will be made between the urban trapping across Eastern Hill and the bushland monitoring conducted by NPWS.