Wellington National Park survey finds stable native species populations

A recently completed wildlife monitoring snapshot has identified Wellington National Park as important habitat for several threatened mammal species.

Results suggest native species populations are stable and widely distributed across the park, whereas introduced predator populations are in low densities and limited in range.

These positive results emphasise the importance of the park’s long-term protection for wildlife conservation.

Image of quokka captured by motion sensor camera at Wellington National Park. (Credit: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions Wellington District)

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), funded by the South West Catchments Council (SWCC), used spotlight surveys and motion sensor cameras to record the distribution of native and introduced mammal species within the Park.

Almost 130 square kilometres of the park were surveyed over two years, from October 2018 to September 2020.

Native species were recorded in 98% of the surveyed area, with four threatened species recorded in 61% of the study area:

  • Western ringtail possum / Ngwayir
  • Brush-tailed bettong / Woylie
  • Western quoll / Chuditch
  • Short-tailed scrub wallaby / Quokka.

Introduced predators, including foxes, feral cats and wild dogs, were recorded in only 27% of the surveyed area.

Other introduced mammals such as pigs, deer, rabbits and cattle were more widespread, with sightings across 38% of the surveyed area.

Image of chuditch captured by motion sensor camera at Wellington National Park.

Wellington National Park is a 17,000-hectare area of jarrah, marri and yarri forest, located 40km east of Bunbury. The park’s diverse topography, with sheltered and densely vegetated areas combined with high annual rainfall, was thought to provide extensive high-quality habitat for native mammals.

This project is supported by the South West Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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