Bandicoots are confined to Australia, New Guinea, and the island of Seram. Prior to European settlement of Australia, bandicoots were widespread and at least one species was present in any given locality across almost the whole of the continent, in virtually all habitats. In the arid center of Australia, up to five species may have been found, whereas in tropical and temperate zones two or three species occurred. Some off shore islands are now the only places in which certain species survive. Similarly, bandicoots occur throughout New Guinea, from the coast to the central high mountain ranges, and some forms are restricted to off-shore islands. One species only occurs on Seram.

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