- 10 native mammal species and one bird species to be reintroduced to historic Dirk Hartog Island
- $22.5 million for stage two of ecological restoration project
Environment Minister Albert Jacob has approved funding of $22.5 million to reintroduce native animals to Dirk Hartog Island National Park for stage two of an ecological restoration project.
Mr Jacob said the Liberal National Government funding would enable 10 locally extinct mammal species and one bird species to be returned to the island.
The island is the site of Western Australia's first recorded European landing by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog on October 25, 1616.
"This is a major step forward in the restoration of island's habitat, which began in 2012," the Minister said.
"The long-term plan is to return the island's natural ecosystems to how Dirk Hartog would have seen them, with thriving native mammal populations.
"Grazing by sheep and goats and predation by feral cats has had a big impact on native species. With the eradication of these introduced animals, native species such as the western barred bandicoot, woylie, dibbler and boodie can be re-established on the island - a real win for conservation."
The work on Dirk Hartog Island is one of Australia's most ambitious animal reconstruction projects and complements the State Government's Western Shield wildlife conservation program, which aims to return native animals to selected areas of WA.
Rufous and banded hare-wallabies will be the first species to be reintroduced to the southern part of the island following eradication of feral cats. Other species to be returned to the island include chuditch, mulgara, greater stick-nest rat, desert mouse, Shark Bay mouse and the heath mouse.
A further two threatened hare-wallaby species will also be introduced to the island to improve their conservation status.
The project funding is part of a $60 million Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Program established under the Barrow Island Act 2003, as a result of an agreement between the State Government and the Gorgon Joint Venture.
- Under Western Shield, at least 53 threatened mammal and bird species remain in existence in areas that have been baited for foxes and feral cats
- Dirk Hartog Island is WA's biggest island with an area of nearly 63,000 hectares
- The total cost of the ecological restoration project is $28.2 million, including $5.6 million from the Department of Parks and Wildlife
Minister's office - 6552 5800