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December 25 2012

French Island a possible ark for endangered bandicoot


FOR the first time in almost 60 years, Victorian authorities are attempting an island rescue of an endangered species.

Considered extinct in the wild since 1991, the rabbit-sized eastern barred bandicoot has been introduced to French Island - 80 kilometres south-east of Melbourne in Western Port Bay.

The release of 18 animals in July began an ambitious 12-month trial to establish if the grasslands of French Island would provide suitable habitat. Chief among the island's appeal is that it is fox-free.

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