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Rare wallabies spotted in Western Australian park for first time in 20 years
Rare black-flanked rock wallabies have been spotted in Western Australia’s Kalbarri National Park for the first time in 20 years.
Two of the half metre tall marsupials, also known as warru, were photographed in a gorge by rock climber Remi Vignals in August. The sighting was made in the promenade, reckoned to be one of the best rock-climbing areas in WA.
Western Australian Environment Minister Albert Jacob said it was clear the notoriously shy animals had been living unseen in the national park since they were last sighted in 1995, because the nearest known population was 450 kilometres inland.
Minister Jacob stated “despite extensive searches for the elusive species, they have not been seen there for 20 years, so it was amazing to discover they have survived after all this time.”
Minister Jacob said that while feral cats and foxes preyed on the wallaby, the main culprit in its disappearance from Kalbarri was thought to be another rock-climber, the feral goat.
He added “goats have not only competed with the wallabies for food, but also pushed them out of protected gorge areas, leaving them vulnerable to predation by foxes and cats.
“The Department of Parks and Wildlife has undertaken aerial goat culling in the park since 2006, and has controlled goats to the extent that wallaby numbers will now be able to build up again.”
The exact number of black-flanked rock wallabies in the wild is not known, but they are listed as a vulnerable species. There are 14 known populations in Western Australia, including populations on Barrow Island, off the state’s north-west coast, and Salisbury Island, which is off the south-west coast.
The Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife has set up cameras and monitoring equipment to try to catch another glimpse of the wallabies.
In the desert country of the Martu people, near Lake Disappointment, more than 900 kilometres from Kalbarri National Park, Indigenous rangers are using traditional trapping methods to monitor black-flanked rock wallaby populations in the Calvert Ranges, known to the Martu as Kaalpi and Durba Hills, known as Pinpi.
Image: Two rare black-flanked rock-wallabies which were spotted in Kalbarri National Park in Western Australia in August 2015. Photograph: Remi Vignals/Department of Parks and Wildlife (WA)
24th September 2015 - INDIGENOUS RANGERS AID THREATENED WALLABY CONSERVATION EFFORTS
2nd October 2010 - $20 MILLION BOOST FOR CONSERVATION AND NATURE-BASED TOURISM IN WA
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