11 May 2016
THREATENED WA ROCK-WALLABIES AIRLIFTED TO NEW HOME
A mission was undertaken yesterday (Tuesday) to airlift a group of threatened rock-wallabies to a new home in Western Australia.
Twenty-three threatened black-flanked rock-wallabies were translocated by plane from reserves in WA’s Wheatbelt to the Kalbarri National Park north of Perth.
“Wallaby conservation programs in the Wheatbelt have resulted in those populations doing really well,” said WWF spokesperson Merril Halley.
“This means we were able to move some of those animals to the Kalbarri National Park, which was once home to a healthy population of black-flanked rock-wallabies before the introduction of feral animals.
“A successful program to reduce foxes, cats and goats in Kalbarri National Park allows us to safely establish a new colony of black-flanked rock-wallabies in the park.”
The spectacular gorges of the Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia’s mid-west were once a haven for black-flanked rock-wallabies but the last two decades saw the animals savaged by foxes and feral cats.
At the same time, feral goats have forced wallabies from the caves they once used for protection, and reduced their habitat to dust and weeds.
Only two black-flanked rock-wallabies were sighted in Kalbarri National Park last year but all that is about to change with last night’s translocation of 23 animals back to their former range.
The translocation program was undertaken by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife in partnership with WWF-Australia, after WWF supporters provided part of the funding required to complete the mission.
“For the translocation the animals were captured and carefully placed in soft, dark bags, which were secured in pet packs in the aircraft, before being flown to Kalbarri National Park,” Ms Halley said.
“Wallabies are quite sensitive and would not have reacted well to a seven hour drive from the Wheatbelt to their new home, so it was much better to fly them there instead.”
WWF-Australia Media Contact: Daniel Rockett, National Media Manager, 0432 206 592, email@example.com