Work has begun to re-establish a population of tammar wallabies at Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia’s Mid-West region.
Environment Minister Donna Faragher said up to 80 tammar wallabies would be translocated from Tutanning Nature Reserve near Pingelly and from a University of Western Australia research colony, as part of efforts to protect WA’s medium-sized mammals.
“Records suggest tammar wallabies previously existed around the Kalbarri area, with the last evidence found in 1979 on the edge of the town,” Mrs Faragher said.
“The $70,000 translocation project, funded by the State Government, aims to reintroduce tammar wallabies after their decline in the area due to land clearing and predation by foxes.”
The Minister said ongoing baiting under the Department of Environment and Conservation’s (DEC) Western Shield program since 1997 had controlled foxes - the biggest threat to tammar wallabies.
Mrs Faragher said baiting was one of the reasons for the success that DEC had enjoyed with its ongoing translocation programs, which were at the leading edge of conservation science.
“During the past five years, DEC has achieved significant success in translocation programs - improving the conservation security of a number of species,” she said.
“In that time, they have undertaken about 50 translocations of 35 species of flora and 39 translocations of 16 species of fauna.
“This has included a major translocation project on Barrow Island where hundreds of mammals have been airlifted to establish new populations on the mainland and a nearby island.
“Work has begun In a remote part of Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany, to establish a new breeding colony of the world’s rarest marsupial, the Gilbert’s potoroos.”
The Minister joined DEC officers and local members of the Bush Rangers cadet unit in last night’s release of about 50 tammar wallabies, 37 of which were born at Tutanning and the rest were born in captivity.
“From the animals released this month, up to 30 will be fitted with GPS-enabled radio collars and monitored in the next few months to check on their progress,” she said.
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