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AoS 1: Maintaining biodiversity is worth a sustained effort

Full Day
Book Program
Year Levels
Unit 3 — How can biodiversity and development be sustained?


Eastern Barred Bandicoot

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunii) is a small, rabbit sized marsupial with a long pointy nose and ears According to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act), it is classified as endangered across Australia but as of March 2013, it has been classified as extinct in the wild on the Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria.

Eastern Barred Bandicoot Perameles gunii (

The Eastern Barred Bandicoot requires understorey plants to provide shelter, nest sites and food. During the day they rest in nests, which are usually no more than a shallow depression in the ground with a dome of grass pulled over the top. Only one adult bandicoot occupies a nest, although young may share the nest with their mother for a week after they first leave the pouch. After dusk, they emerge and immediately begin foraging for food. Bandicoots are solitary animals and only mix with others when breeding.

Mt Rothwell

Mt Rothwell is a wildlife sanctuary situated on approximately 420 hectares behind the You Yangs. This sanctuary comprises native grasslands and grassy woodlands which provides habitat for many native animals, which are threatened, critically endangered or extinct on mainland Australia, such as Bettongs, Bandicoots, Potoroos, Wallabies, Gliders and Quolls. The animals are protected from introduced species and the habitat is continually managed to provide optimal conditions.

Prior Knowledge

Some prior explanation of the importance of biodiversity would be a benefit. However, this program can be taught with no prior knowledge.

Learning Intentions

In this program students will:

  • Explain the importance of biodiversity
  • Learn how to use a model to make predictions on past or future population trends in an ecosystem
  • Distinguish between the skulls of herbivores, omnivores and carnivores
  • Learn how to complete a habitat assessment
  • Suggest reasons to explain the conservation status of the Eastern Barred Bandicoot


Students will:

  • Observe different native mammal skulls
  • Investigate changes in a woodland ecosystem using the Newbyte Woodland foodweb program
  • Investigate the success and failures of Bandicoot releases in different places
  • Complete a scavenger hunt at Mt Rothwell looking for evidence of animals living there
  • Complete a habitat assessment at Mt Rothwell
  • Go on a guided spotlight tour to observe Eastern Barred bandicoots and other native endangered species at Mt Rothwell

VCE links

Outcome 1: Explain the importance of Earth’s biodiversity, analyse the threats to biodiversity, and evaluate management strategies to maintain biodiversity in the context of one selected threatened endemic species.

This program commences at Ecolinc at 2pm. Students will carry do a series of activities at Ecolinc and will then travel by bus to Mt Rothwell and undertake the grassland activities. Students can bring their own dinner or BYO food for a bbq. Students will then be taken on a spotlighting tour of Mt Rothwell at dusk by Mt Rothwell staff. Here they will get the chance to observe many of our native endangered grassland species that have been released on this 420 predator free property.