There are three species of bandicoot found in New South Wales. The most widespread is the long-nosed bandicoot - native to Sydney's Pittwater area. The northern brown bandicoot is most commonly found around the Hawkesbury area and the southern brown bandicoots are found from east of the Great Dividing Range to the Victorian border.
These little omnivorous marsupials prefer to search for food at night and their taste for grubs and bugs can be very helpful in the urban garden. With all three species facing serious decline over the years only the southern brown bandicoot is considered endangered at present.
Bandicoots have a greyish-brown coloured back and a creamy white underside and reverse pouch. Its forefeet and the upper surface of the hind feet are also creamy white. The long-nosed bandicoot's muzzle is more long and pointed than in the short-nosed bandicoots.
Their days are spent in shallow nests which have been dug into the rainforest floor and lined with grass and leaves they gather with its forelegs. The upper surface of the nest, which is sometimes flattened and partly covered with soil, may be well concealed under rainforest litter. When the nest is in use, its entrance is closed.
In searching for food, the bandicoot digs holes with its forefeet; these holes are large enough to fit its snout underground. Whilst digging, the Long-Nosed Bandicoot moves about sniffing the ground and a shrill, grunt-like sound often indicates the presence of food. These bandicoots feed on insects and foodstuffs found underground, in rotted logs and rainforest floor.
Bandicoots are solitary animals - with meetings between males and females restricted to their mating seasons.