Numbat population numbers in Dryandra Woodland are once again thriving following the completion of an annual survey. A total of 39 numbat sightings were recorded in a week across six survey sites within 380km in the Dryandra Woodland National Park. The survey was conducted from November 7-12 by Dr Tony Friend with assistance from the Numbat Task Force. In 2014, it was estimated that just 50 numbats were roaming Dryandra, but now there are more than 500 individuals, according to the NTF. One numbat was sighted every 9.7km driven, or 10.3km per 100km, with the animal also spotted in encouraging abundance throughout the reserve. A further 20 numbats sighted off-survey were not included in the official figure. NFT’s Rob McLean said the population in Dryandra was “excellent” and “encouraging”. “The population in Dryandra is excellent at the moment, one encouraging thing was the amount of adults seen on the survey, which means they’re surviving into adulthood,” he said. He attributed successful feral animal control to the high numbers. “With the Western Shield program and we’ve got the Peel Harvey Catchment Council working on the outside with farmers reducing reinvasion, reducing cats on farmland before they’re getting into the woodland,” he said. “The last collared numbat taken by a cat was in 2018.” Wild or captive-born numbats are fitted with radio collars each year to track their movements, and gain important information on their dispersal in their habitat and their survival. In November 2019, only 10 numbats were recorded but the population skyrocketed to 35 in 2020. Last year’s survey declined with 24 individuals spotted but this year’s success is hopefully a good sign for the future. Mr McLean said he hoped WA’s fauna emblem would carry on with “steady” numbers next year and “didn’t see a dramatic drop”. “It’s fantastic that everybody is becoming aware and loving numbats, that is fantastic, let’s do it all responsibly and if we do that they’ll be here for years to come so we can all enjoy them,” he said.