Quenda | wwf
Quenda, Parkerville Western Australia. 
	© Simon Cherriman
Numbers of bandicoots have fallen since European settlement due to loss of native vegetation, introduced predators and changes to fire regimes. Southern brown bandicoot populations have declined to dangerous levels in NSW, Victoria and South Australia. The subspecies found in these States are threatened with extinction.

The quenda (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer) is a subspecies of southern brown bandicoot that is only found in southwest Western Australia. Remarkably, quendas can still be found in remnant bushland across suburban Perth.

Quendas are under threat from habitat loss, vehicle strike, predation from cats, dogs and foxes, drowning in swimming pools and garden ponds and poisoning from snail and rat baits.

In conjunction with the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, WWF wanted to find out where quendas are currently living and how many there are; to compare results with previous surveys and find out if their distribution and populations may be changing.

Quenda facts

  • The subspecies of southern brown bandicoot that is known as the quenda (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer) is endemic to southwest Western Australia.
     
  • Weighing between 400g to 1.8kg, the quenda falls within the critical weight range (100g-5kg) of mammals that are particularly vulnerable to predation by foxes and feral cats.
     
  • Surprisingly, the southern brown bandicoot is active both during the day and at night. While generally a solitary species, the home ranges of multiple individuals may overlap if food is plentiful.
  • Common name

    Southern brown bandicoot; quenda

  • Scientific name

    Isoodon obesulus fusciventer

  • Habitat

    Throughout its range, the southern brown bandicoot inhabits a range of forest, woodland, shrub and heath communities. They prefer to live near waterways where dense low vegetation grows.

  • Weight

    Between 400g to 1.8kg

  • Appearance

    Quendas are native mammals about the size of a rabbit with grey-brown to yellow-brown fur, a long pointed nose, very short ears and a short tail.

  • Did you know?

    Quendas are omnivorous, eating insects and their larvae, fungi (truffles), earthworms and some plant material. They leave characteristic cone-shaped diggings when searching for food. Quendas are marsupials, meaning that they carry their young in a pouch. They may have between one and six young in a litter, but usually only two or three will survive to be weaned.

Quenda (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer), also known as the southern brown bandicoot. 
	© Mike Griffiths
Quenda (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer), also known as the southern brown bandicoot.
© Mike Griffiths

Quenda Counts & Surveys

The 2015 Spring Quenda Count is now open and we need your help!

To participate in the count, quenda observers are asked to pick a survey site approximately 50m by 50m and survey the area for quendas, as well as their tell-tale conical-shaped diggings, for two or more days within one week.

The data collected during each count will help improve our understanding of how quendas (southern brown bandicoots) are surviving in urbanised areas. The count provides more than just individual sightings. It gives us an idea of how many animals there are and how these numbers change over time, while also giving us a better understanding of specific behaviours, breeding and threats.

To take part follow the instructions on the downloadable 2015 Quenda Count data sheet:
Click here to download the PDF version
Click here to download the Word doc version
 

Background of the project

In 2012, WWF-Australia and the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife conducted a Community Quenda Survey to locate populations of the quenda, also known as the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus fusciventer) in southwest Western Australia. Residents were asked to report any sightings of this native mammal.

Almost 1,000 people took part in the 2012 Community Quenda Survey and provided information that has been used to map the current distribution of quendas across the greater Perth area.

After the 2012 survey, which gave us a good idea of where quendas were found, the next step was to start monitoring their numbers. In 2013, 2014 and 2015 Perth residents were asked to take part in the annual Spring Quenda Count to do just this.

Your participation in the 2015 Quenda Count will help us understand more about these curious creatures.

Quenda sighting reports are always welcome at any time of the year. If you spot a quenda and want to let someone know, please send an email with all the sighting details to fauna@DPaW.wa.gov.au.

Status

The quenda is listed as a Priority 5 species (taxa in need of monitoring - conservation dependent) under the WA Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, meaning that its status needs to be kept under review. The quenda survey we are undertaking will provide valuable data to help inform the status assessment of this sub-species.
Quenda caught on sensor camera on 04/01/2012. 
	© Mike Griffiths
Quenda caught on sensor camera on 04/01/2012.
© Mike Griffiths
Quenda caught on sensor camera on 20/09/2011. 
	© Mike Griffiths
Quenda caught on sensor camera on 20/09/2011.
© Mike Griffiths