Turning the tide of extinction

With more mammal and bird species threatened with extinction than ever before in Australia’s South West region, the South West Catchments Council (SWCC) has begun a new five-year conservation project to reverse this trend.

SWCC’s recently published South West Environmental Snapshot reported a 22% increase in the number of mammals and a 69% increase in the number of birds threatened with extinction between 2001 and 2017. The South West region is also home to 58 of Australia’s 300 species of threatened fauna.

Under a commercial contract secured through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program until 2023, SWCC will work with community groups, government agencies and university researchers to stabilise and improve the plight of the western ringtail possum, numbat, woylie, chuditch and malleefowl across the region.

The project will involve creating, improving and reconnecting habitat for threatened species, controlling introduced predators and herbivores, improving scientific understanding of the needs of threatened fauna, as well as improving rehabilitation practices for injured wildlife and engaging the community in the conservation of unique native fauna.

SWCC threatened species program manager Dr Brian Chambers said as the climate continued to change, native fauna would come to rely more on habitat on private land to survive, move and adapt.

“Engaging the whole community will be critical for the long-term preservation of our iconic native species. Together we will help ensure our unique natural heritage is preserved for the future,” Dr Chambers said.

SWCC will also continue to coordinate the Land for Wildlife Program across the region which aims to support private land owners to conserve and enhance habitat for wildlife on their properties.

For more information, follow @swccnrm on Facebook and Twitter.

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