Narrogin’s Dryandra Woodland becomes the first national park in the Wheatbelt region
Dryandra Woodland near Narrogin has become the Wheatbelt’s first national park giving greater protection to the State’s endangered animal emblem — the numbat.
Environment Minister Reece Whitby lodged a request for the the former State forest to be converted to class-A Dryandra Woodland National Park and two class-A Dryandra Woodland nature reserves.
Mr Whitby announced the creation of the new national park on Monday, home to some of Australia’s most vulnerable wildlife such as the numbat, quenda, brushtail wallaby and malleefowl.
As well as protecting these animals, he said the national park classification would bring more attention to the natural attributes of the area.
“The creation of this new national park will better protect the woodland’s unique native species, while also offering wonderful outdoor recreational opportunities for visitors and the local community,” he said.
“The new national park is within a day’s travel from Perth and will continue to be a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts, campers and bushwalkers for generations to come.”
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has been running its Western Shield program for 25 years and in recent years has reported an increase in the number of numbats at Dryandra.
A predator-proof animal sanctuary is also located within the national park, giving the public the opportunity to view rare and protected wildlife in their nocturnal environment.
The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions team in Narrogin had been advocating for the national park status for more than 20 years alongside local conservation group the Numbat Task Force.
NTF member Robert McLean said he welcomed the long-awaited news of the Dryandra Woodlands being reclassified as a National Park.
“The numbats in the woodlands are going really well at the moment, the population is probably at the highest its been for the last 20 years based of Dr Tony Friend’s work and what we’re seeing,” he said.
“It wasn’t that long ago, in 2014, that the numbat population in Dryandra was estimated to be just 50 and now it’s estimated to be greater than 500.
“(The national park) affords more protection to the area and it will help secure more funding so more work can be done.”
Mr McLean said the national park would help to protect other vulnerable wildlife in the area.
“Dryandra Woodland is famous for its numbats but there are several other threatened species that live in the same area,” he said.
“You have the critically endangered woylie, the western chuditch, red-tail phascogale and the malleefowl.
“All these animals will have better protection now that it has become a national park.”
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