Research

How do quenda use the urban landscape?

Quenda-friendly gardens

Can quenda poo help plants grow?

How do quenda use the urban landscape?

In order to conserve bandicoots in urban areas, we need to know more about how they use the urban landscape, including bushland reserves, corridors, and front and back gardens. To do this, we attached GPS trackers to quenda so we can track their movement over time. We also set up motion-sensor cameras in bushland and in people’s gardens, to capture visits by quenda (and other animals like cats and foxes).

Quenda-friendly gardens

Between April and September 2017, our research team visited more than 70 residential gardens in Mandurah and surrounds, seeking to discover whether particular characteristics of certain gardens made them more attractive to quenda visitors. Preliminary results, based on 37 properties, were presented at the International Mammalogical Congress in July 2017. Data analysis continues for the remaining gardens.

A huge thank you to all the participants who welcomed us into their gardens and their homes – we couldn’t do this without you!

Can quenda poo help plants grow?

In a healthy ecosystem, there are complex ecological interactions between plants, digging mammals such as the quenda (southern brown bandicoot), and fungi.

Quenda eat underground fungi and pass spores in their scats (poo). This helps to disperse fungi and to encourage symbiotic relationships (called mycorrhizae) between fungi and tree roots. Mycorrhizal associations help the host plant to access water and nutrients and help keep trees healthy.

interrelationships
There are important ecological relationships between bandicoots (e.g. quenda in Western Australia), fungi, and plants.

In February 2017, we added quenda poo (containing fungi spores) to tuart tree seedlings, to examine whether this would increase symbiotic relationships and improve the growth and survival of these seedlings, which were planted in the field in June 2017. Monitoring of growth and survival has been ongoing.

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Up close and personal with quenda poo!