Construction begins: Christmas comes early for threatened rock-wallaby

Posted on 18 December 2012  | 
Black-flanked rock-wallaby. Kellerberrin area, Southwest Australia’s central Wheatbelt granites. 19th and 20th January 2012.
Black-flanked rock-wallaby. Kellerberrin area, Southwest Australia’s central Wheatbelt granites. 19th and 20th January 2012.
© Phil Lewis & Mike Griffiths / WWF-Aus Enlarge
A critical rescue mission is now underway to help save WA’s Wheatbelt rock-wallabies from extinction.

Work has started on a five kilometre fence around Nangeen Hill Nature Reserve in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region to protect the black-flanked rock-wallaby population from feral predators.

The Department of Environment and Conservation and WWF-Australia are building the fence with the help of generous donations from the public.

WWF-Australia Species Conservation Manager Katherine Howard said there may be as few as nine wallabies left in the reserve.

"It’s not too late. We are taking urgent action to save the rock wallabies by excluding feral predators from Nangeen Hill once and for all,” Ms Howard said.

"Foxes and cats are the biggest threat to their survival. Habitat loss, weed invasion and recent droughts have also taken a toll."

DEC fauna and flora conservation officer Natasha Moore said the fence was specially designed to keep out predators.

“The predator-proof fence is 180cm high, with a ‘floppy’ overhang of mesh that the predators can’t negotiate. Another mesh skirt at the bottom prevents animals from digging underneath it,” she said.

"Construction has already started and is expected to be finished by March.

“While baiting has been stepped up at Nangeen Hill in the past few years via DEC’s flagship conservation program, Western Shield, it is evident that the wallabies are still being predated and the only way to stop this is to completely exclude foxes and cats through the construction of a fence.”

WWF's Katherine Howard said a public appeal for help was extremely successful.

"WWF supporters have contributed more than $75 000 dollars to finish building the fence," she said.

The Department of Environment and Conservation and WWF-Australia thank the numerous individual WWF donors for their generous support.


WWF-Australia contacts:
Sarah Best, Senior Media Officer, 0421 897 087, sbest@wwf.org.au
Black-flanked rock-wallaby. Kellerberrin area, Southwest Australia’s central Wheatbelt granites. 19th and 20th January 2012.
Black-flanked rock-wallaby. Kellerberrin area, Southwest Australia’s central Wheatbelt granites. 19th and 20th January 2012.
© Phil Lewis & Mike Griffiths / WWF-Aus Enlarge

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