Numbats bounce back in feral-free enclosures


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Research is showing that numbat numbers are bouncing back in fenced, feral free enclosures (image: Martin Pot via Wikimedia Commons).

Numbat populations in WA have dropped to dangerously low levels recently, but populations in fenced, feral-free reserves in SA and NSW are bucking the trend, according to an article in the Australian Geographic.

The endangered marsupials could once be found throughout southern and central Australia, but by 1980 their natural range was limited to WA, and today fewer than 1000 are left in the wild.

The animals were returned to SA and NSW in two sanctuaries, owned by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC). The fenced reserves are designed to keep out feral animals such as foxes and cats, which pose the biggest threat to numbat populations.

Recent research shows that since the two AWC populations were founded, Scotia has grown to support about 180 individuals, while the smaller Yookamurra area is now home to about 45.

“The significant finding here is that these fenced-off predator-proof areas are very successful in conserving these small mammals,” said Dr John Kanowski, the AWC’s national science and conservation manager.

You can find further information about this project HERE. You can also read an article about a proposal to build an even bigger feral-free enclosure in Central Australia HERE.


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