1 Sept 2017


West Australians are being asked to help save the endangered numbat by reporting sightings of the termite-loving marsupial.

It is estimated there are fewer than 1000 numbats leftin the wild and WWF-Australia wants to ensure they survive and thrive. But not enough is known about our endangered numbats in the Warren Region as it much more difficult to survey for animals compared to other sites.

Numbats used to occur widely across southern Australia but due to habitat loss and predators like cats and foxes, their range has declined dramatically. By the 1970s numbats survived only in small areas of southwest WA and by the 1980s only two sites remained; Dryandra Woodland & the Perup/Kington area within the Warren Region.

“Reporting sightings of numbats is a great way that the community can assist this project in the Warren Region. Researchers will have improved information on the distribution of numbats which will help immensely,” said WWF-Australia Species Conservation Manager, Merril Halley.

What you can do:

Keep an eye out for numbats when you are travelling through potential numbat habitat and report any sightings. Make sure you note the date and the location (GPS coordinates if possible) of sighting. Note the description of the animals and what it is doing, and if safe, take a photo. Report the details to fauna@dbca.wa.gov.au.

Numbats are active during the day and during the cooler months it is best to look for them between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Numbats activity corresponds with the activity of their food (termites are active when it is warm). In the Warren Region numbats are generally found in the jarrah, marri or wandoo woodland.

Your sightings will provide vital information to WWF and the WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions (DBCA). Remote sensor cameras will also be put in place next month and a citizen science project set up to review the photos so citizen scientists everywhere can help us to identify where numbats and other threatened animals occur in the southwest.

Project partners include: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions, Murdoch University. It is also supported by funding from the Western Australian Government's State Natural Resource Management Program.

Map of numbat ranges
© WWF-Australia

WWF-Australia Media Contact:

Paula Kruger, Senior Manager News and Public Affairs 0407 067 303