- Endangered marsupial released on the south coast to assist with long-term conservation efforts
- Animals from a successful captive breeding program
A total of 69 dibblers have been reintroduced into bushland on the State's south coast as part of efforts to strengthen populations to assist with the long-term recovery of the endangered species.
Successful release of the small carnivorous marsupials was due to a partnership between the Perth Zoo and the Parks and Wildlife team under the new Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The department bred the dibblers before releasing them into an area that borders Peniup Creek near Jerramungup.
Before the release, fox baiting was carried out at the site and this will continue in addition to feral cat trapping, under the department's Western Shield wildlife conservation program, to give the species a greater chance of survival against two of their biggest threats.
Since 2001, nearly 250 captive bred dibblers have been released at various sites throughout the south coast.
Earlier this year, six zoo-bred dibblers and their pouch young were released onto Gunton Island near Esperance to expand the small population established there, and ongoing camera monitoring has provided encouraging results with the marsupial continuing to persist on the island.
The species was believed to be extinct until it was rediscovered at Cheynes Beach, east of Albany, in 1967, and today there are just five established populations of dibblers in Western Australia.
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
"The future for dibblers is looking bright thanks to this captive breeding and release program, the only one in the world for this species.
"Measures like this are vitally important for the long-term survival of threatened fauna in the wild.
"Monitoring of the released dibblers will be ongoing with regular trapping being undertaken to help measure the success of the translocation.
"By creating new dibbler populations, we are offering security to a species that would otherwise have struggled to survive.
"Conservation of our native species is important. The ultimate goal is to have sustainable wild populations of dibblers and improve their conservation status in the near future."
Minister's office - 6552 5800