Thursday, August 21st, 2014

New wildlife found on offshore islands

Indigenous rangers and scientists have found “new” populations of quolls and golden-backed tree rats on offshore islands.

You can read a media release here:



Government of Western Australia

Department of the Premier and Cabinet






Hon Albert Jacob MLA





Minister for Environment




New populations of Kimberley species revealed

• Threatened species including northern quoll and golden-backed tree rat recorded during 18-day Kimberley wildlife survey

• Survey part of State Government’s $81.5million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy, a bold vision for Kimberley’s long-term conservation


A recent wildlife survey of two islands in the Kimberley has revealed new populations of native animals, including a number of threatened species.


Environment Minister Albert Jacob said Department of Parks and Wildlife and Balanggarra Rangers conducted an 18-day wildlife survey on Lacrosse Island, Buckle Head and a mainland site adjacent to these islands, as part of the Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy.


“This was the first time these areas had been surveyed systematically and included the use of traps and remote cameras,” Mr Jacob said.


“Parks and Wildlife scientists and Balanggarra Rangers found a wide range of native species, including the threatened golden-backed tree rat on Buckle Head. This species is currently only known to occur on nine other islands in the Kimberley.


“A healthy population of the endangered northern quoll was also found on Buckle Head and follows the discovery late last year of a new population of the northern quoll on Molema Island. A bandicoot was also detected by camera on Buckle Head, although whether it was the threatened golden bandicoot or the more common northern brown bandicoot is yet to be determined.”


Other animals recorded included the common rock rat on both islands and the water rat on Lacrosse Island. All three sites had a similar diversity of reptile species, including the giant slender blue tongue skink on Buckle Head, which is found only in the northern Kimberley.


“Scientists also uncovered a collection of chewed Owenia nuts that they suspected had been deposited by the endemic scaly-tailed possum,” the Minister said.


“The possums managed to elude their traps but a scaly-tailed possum was later identified on camera.”


Mr Jacob said the encouraging survey results highlighted the biodiversity of the islands.


“The State Government’s $81.5million Kimberley Science and Conservation Strategy is a bold vision for the Kimberley’s long-term conservation and will provide unprecedented protection for the region’s unique plants and animals, as well as creating tourism opportunities, and jobs for Aboriginal communities,” he said.


Fact File

• Population of northern quolls also discovered on the adjacent mainland

• Buckle Head and Lacrosse islands are proposed conservation reserves under the strategy and will be jointly managed with the Balanggarra native title group

• Pictures from the survey attached


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