Numbat experts speak
It was a packed house at the Dryandra Village’s McDougall Hall last week as people gathered to learn more about numbats.
The Peel-Harvey Catchment Council hosted the Numbats in the Neighbourhood last Tuesday with key speakers talking about numbat recovery.
A significant figure in the numbat world, Tony Friend, has been working to boost numbat numbers in Dryandra since 1981, when little was known about the species or why it was heading towards extinction.
With a successful feral-cat baiting program now in place in the woodlands, the population is rebounding.
Dr Friend said to maintain numbat recovery, feral cats and foxes need to be controlled, the baiting programs monitored and genetic links restored between numbat populations.
An important factor in numbat recovery is the Perth Zoo breeding program which has released 268 numbats into the wild over nine sites.
Perth Zoo established its numbat breed-for-release program in 1987, studying and perfecting the species’ reproductive biology over the next five years.
Also working towards protecting the numbat is the Peel-Harvey Catchment Council with its Numbat Neighbourhood project.
The project will help address the decline and improve the trajectory of numbats in the Peel-Harvey Catchment as well as that of secondary species, like the woylie and chuditch by implementing actions including weed control in targeted habitat over multiple seasons, feral animal control and targeted on-ground works with landholders and other stakeholders to reduce threats to threatened species.
PHCC chairwoman Caroline Knight said PHCC was pleased to be working with landowners near Dryandra to protect Numbats and other threatened species.
“Having five years of funding for our Numbat Neighbourhood project is fabulous because it is giving us time to roll out projects that we have aspired to for so long, but not had the funding and capacity to deliver,” she said.
“Working with the farmers around Dryandra is a pleasure for our Boddington based team and seeing the numbat numbers increase over the last couple of years – well that’s priceless.”
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