Friday, 5 August 2016
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said 23 radio-collared wallabies from the Wheatbelt were introduced into two locations in the park, following the discovery of a tiny population in a gorge in August 2015.
"Having been considered locally extinct for 20 years in the area, the discovery of two animals and a joey was exciting and resulted in quick action by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, with help from WWF Australia, to secure the future of the species in the park," Mr Jacob said.
"Of the 23 animals released in May, just one has died as a result of falling while exploring cliff habitat, while two others have lost their radio collars and are unable to be tracked.
"The other 20 rock wallabies have settled down after their initial exploration of their new home, and hopefully soon we will see images of new joeys appearing on the 36 remote sensing cameras that have been deployed throughout the park.
"These results are encouraging because none of the wallabies has succumbed to predators, which shows they have been able to quickly establish themselves in suitable habitat."
The Minister said feral cats, foxes and goats were considered to be the main factors in the original decline of rock wallabies in Kalbarri National Park.
Under the Western Shield wildlife conservation program, the department has baited foxes in the park since 1996 and cat baiting is being implemented as part of $1.7 million in Australian Government funding to integrate the Eradicat bait into Western Shield baiting programs.
"The department has also been undertaking goat control in the park since 2006, and habitat has recovered to a point where wallaby numbers can build up again," Mr Jacob said.
Parks and Wildlife will continue to monitor the wallabies, which were the first ever translocation of the species into the Mid-West region and the first of a number of planned releases of wallabies into the park over the next three years.