Into the wild — scientists hails species recovery as 11 numbats released into Dryandra Woodland

Emma TaylorNarrogin Observer
Peel-Harvey Catchment Council's Mel Durack with Numbat Te Fiti
Camera IconPeel-Harvey Catchment Council's Mel Durack with Numbat Te Fiti

Eleven numbats were released into Dryandra Woodland last week as part of the Perth Zoo’s numbat breeding program.

The six males and four females, which are almost one year old, and an older female were released with the help of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, and the Peel Harvey Catchment Council.

Brought to Narrogin from Perth, the animals were taken to designated locations within Dryandra and placed into hollow logs so they could make their own way out into the wild.

They were fitted with collars so they could be tracked and monitored.

DBCA principal research scientist Tony Friend said he expected it to be the last release at Dryandra as the focus turned to rehabilitating populations at other locations.

Peel-Harvey Catchment Council's Christine Townsend with Numbat Hey Hey
Camera IconPeel-Harvey Catchment Council's Christine Townsend with Numbat Hey Hey Credit: Picture: Peel

“The population is doing really well at Dryandra, in fact they’re doing as well as they ever have,” he said.

“We got as many sightings this year on our survey as we got at the peak in 1992, and we haven’t seen numbers like that since up until now.”

Dr Friend said the success of the program was undoubtedly due to cat control using efficient baiting methods.

“You go to Dryandra now and you’d have to be pretty unlucky not to see a numbat, which is amazing,” he said.

“I’ve been working with numbats since 1980 trying for this sort of outcome.”

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