Twenty-four critically endangered western swamp tortoises have been moved to the State's South-West as part of efforts by the Liberal National Government
to ensure the survival of the species against future climate change.
The Department of Parks and Wildlife has released the captive-bred tortoises from Perth Zoo into conservation reserves in Meerup, south of Northcliffe, and east of Augusta as part of the colonisation trial.
Environment Minister Albert Jacob said it would be the first time a vertebrate animal species would be moved outside of its historic range with the aim of finding suitable alternate habitats.
Mr Jacob said western swamp tortoises were naturally found in two winter-wet, clay swamps in the Swan Valley and habitat modelling suggested that without remedial actions these small and isolated reserves were in danger of becoming unsuitable by 2050.
"Researchers have identified suitable sites for the assisted colonisation trial and have considered current and future climate scenarios and the impact on tortoises and egg development," he said.
"Once released, the western swamp tortoises will be monitored in collaboration with students and staff from The University of Western Australia during the next 12 months.
"Growth rates and the diet of the tortoises released into the cooler and wetter conditions at Meerup and east of Augusta will be compared with those from the 12 tortoises released at an existing assisted colonisation site at Moore River Nature Reserve. This will help to determine the suitability of the southern sites."
The translocation is an important part of the Western Swamp Tortoise Recovery Program undertaken by Parks and Wildlife and supported by Perth Zoo, the Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise, UWA and the National Environmental Science Programme's Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
Release issued by The Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australia.
Image: UWA student Alexandra Bouma, Dr Nicki Mitchell and Friends of the Western Swamp Tortoise's Tania by Stewart Macdonald
One million species threatened with extinction worldwide. That was the attention-grabbing headline that recently (and, sadly, briefly) captured the world’s attention, when the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (IPBES) released its first global assessment of how the planet’s biodiversity is faring – and what that means for people.
The Alligator Rivers yellow chat is a small, bright yellow insectivorous bird of the Kakadu floodplains. This Endangered species is imperilled by habitat changes caused by altered fire regimes, buffalo and feral pigs, rising sea levels and the spread of weeds like prickly mimosa and introduced grasses. What has been happening to degrade these floodplains has been equally of concern to Traditional Owners as to yellow chat researchers.
The central purpose of the Threatened Species Recovery Hub is delivering research that is relevant for and useable by decision-makers, land managers and others responsible for recovering threatened species. Working with partners is vital if we’re to achieve this.
The native forest on Norfolk Island provides vital habitat for the island’s threatened plant and bird species, many of which are found nowhere else on the planet (also called endemic). When the British colonised Norfolk Island in 1788, they cleared much of the original vegetation. Remaining forest is now protected in the national park and reserves, but plant recruitment is poor and invasive non-native plant species would likely overtake the forest without the on-going efforts of park managers. To preserve remaining forest, it is important to determine the main causes of declines and the most effective actions that managers can take to address these threats and restore native vegetation.
The Threatened Species Recovery Hub is celebrating great conservation outcomes from projects taking place in Booderee National Park for two Endangered species: the eastern bristlebird and the southern brown bandicoot (eastern subspecies). The Australian National University’s David Lindenmayer and Chris MacGregor give us the scoop on the bristlebird and Natasha Robinson shares the good news about the southern brown bandicoot.