Urban Ecology

Conservation Biology of Australian Mammals: Wildlife at the Urban Interface


Australia has suffered the highest rate of mammal extinctions anywhere in the world since 1700. Ongoing impacts of European settlement continue to threaten mammals, making research into their ecology a conservation priority. A range of our projects have examined how native mammals are coping with encroaching urbanisation. In particular, we are involved in a 12 year study of the ecology and dynamics of an endangered long-nosed bandicoot population at North Head, Sydney. The response of this population to ongoing urban development is being used as a model for other native wildlife trapped in pockets of urbanisation.

Bandicoots in suburbia: revealing the secrets of the endangered Inner West long-nosed bandicoot population

inner west bandicoot

A small population of long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) resides in the Inner West of Sydney. The population is listed as “endangered” on the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, but little is known of its ecology. Together with Transport for NSW and the Inner West Council (formerly Marrickville, Leichhardt and Ashfield Councils), we are hoping to uncover information on the whereabouts of individuals and how they are surviving in this highly urbanised environment. Our project includes a survey asking local residents for any recent or historical sightings, as well as habitat manipulation and monitoring of a number of sites along the Inner West Light Rail Line.

If you have any information or would like to report a sighting of a Long-nosed Bandicoot within the Inner West of Sydney, particularly around Leichhardt, Petersham, Lewisham or
Dulwich Hill, please fill in our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/MTTBZPH

Or join our Facebook Page: Inner West Bandicoots

Or contact Dr. Catherine Price:

Recent projects
  • Charlotte Fletcher (Hons USYD 2014) Bats, boxes and birds in an urban bushland matrix
  • Wendy Gleen (MSc USYD 2013) Life on the edge: Population and behavioural responses of the native bush rat to invasive species at the urban edge
  • Deborah Romero (Hons USYD 2012) Reinvasion of black rats across the urban/bushland interface: a test of ideal-free distribution models
  • Caragh Threlfall (PhD UNSW 2012) Insectivorous bat diversity in urban landscapes: possible mechanisms influencing persistence
  • Malith Weerakoon (MPhil UNSW 2012) The movements of black rats across the urban-bushland interface: a study using Rhodamine B
  • Jessica Bryant (Hons UNSW 2005) Ecological impacts of dog walking in natural areas
  • Rochelle Basham (Hons UNSW 2005) Bats in Sydney's urban bushland fragments

Rachel Miller, Mel Tyas, (NPWS), Dr. Brad Law (SFNSW), Dr Dan Lunney (OEH)