Reintroduction Projects in Australia


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Western Swamp Tortoise

The Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) (Photo: Copyright Bert & Babs Wells / CALM) is a critically endangered freshwater species that had a very small geographic range mostly within the Perth metropolitan area. Conservation efforts have been underway since rediscovery in 1953. During the 1980s a severe decline due mainly to fox predation and drought led to the development of a recovery plan, and the appointment of a recovery team by the Western Australian Department of Conservation and Land management (CALM). Since rediscovery there has been considerable research and management work, including

· The creation of Ellen Brook and Twin Swamps Nature Reserves, in the Upper Swan area within the north-eastern part of the Perth Metropolitan Region. Both have been enlarged by purchase of adjoining land. Both are very small in terms of the tortoise’s home range and the habitat in both is considered to be marginal. Both are surrounded by fox-proof fences. The reserves require intensive management. One purchased area requires ongoing habitat restoration.
· Considerable research, much of it conducted within The University of Western Australia. This has provided an excellent basis for recovery planning and on-ground management.
· Population and environmental monitoring. Population data have been maintained since 1963; one of the longest ongoing data sets for any Australian animal population.
· Captive breeding at Perth Zoo, with initial research being conducted by CALM and later research and support being provided by UWA.
· Translocations of captive-bred tortoises. These have been to Twin Swamps Nature Reserve, and more recently to part of Mogumber Nature Reserve purchased partly to provide a translocation site for the tortoise.
· Searches for additional translocation sites. The vast majority of the tortoise’s original habitat has been cleared, drained or mined for clay. Remaining suitable sites are scarce, mostly outside the species’ known natural range and will require expensive modification.

Captive breeding is now routine, with about 40 tortoises being translocated each year. From 1994 to 2000 translocations were to Twin Swamps Nature Reserve to restock the population there, which had been reduced to less than 10 tortoises because of fox predation and drought. Since 2000, attempts are being made to establish a new population in Mogumber Nature Reserve, outside the species’ known range, as no translocation sites within the known range are available.

Contact Andrew Burbidge (Andrew.Burbidge@calm.wa.gov.au) or Gerald Kuchling (kuchling@cyllene.uwa.edu.au).

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Black-eared Miner

A healthy population of the endangered Black-eared Miner (BEM) exists in the Bookmark Biosphere Reserve, South Australia, covering an area just under 400,000 ha. The potential scale and severity of wildfires in the mallee habitat means this single population is at risk of extinction, or at the least severe depletion, from a single wildfire. To establish a second population, 4 colonies (30, 10, 12, 17 birds) where translocated during September-November 2000 to the Murray Sunset National Park (633,000 ha), Victoria. This area once supported colonies of BEM but colonies became isolated through habitat clearing, uncontrolled wildfires and fuel reduction burns. Areas of the park containing mallee of suitable age (40+ years) for BEM were identified. While these areas are not extensive, additional large tracts of mallee will reach an appropriate age within the next 10 years. Two hard and two soft releases were trialed, both proving successful. In total 59 adults and 10 fledglings were moved, with only one fledgling lost during its week housed in the aviary. Radio-transmitters were attached to 5 birds in each colony, with a plane on standby. However the miners surprised everyone by staying at their release sites for the life of the transmitters. Incredibly, the first hard-released colony starting building nests only 10 days after their release, subsequently producing 2 fledglings. One soft-release colony returned 7 weeks after their release and started building 80m from the aviary. The outcome of these nesting attempts is unknown. Colour band sightings revealed at least 75% adult survival after a month. Interaction between translocated and existing colonies has already been witnessed with unbanded birds joining translocated birds and a banded juvenile moving colony. A further 4 colonies will be translocated during the next breeding season. Contact Mike Clarke (M.Clarke@latrobe.edu.au).

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Regent Honeyeater

Captive-bred regent honeyeaters have been released at Chiltern, Victoria, to supplement the declining population there.  Although a range of management initiatives have been undertaken in Victoria with the aim of stopping the decline, supplementation is viewed as a necessary short-term fix to maintain the population, and birds were available from the now well-established captive breeding programme.  The 27 birds were met at Albury airport and driven to Chiltern on 28 April 2008, and half the birds released on 1 May and the other half on 3 May.  All birds carried radio transmitters, and 20 of the 27 birds were still being seen on an almost daily basis two months after release.  Most of the birds were near the release site at that stage, probably due to flowering of Mugga/Grey Box hybrids in the area at that time, but had explored widely over the 4520 ha national park and surrounding farmland, and had also interacted with birds from the remnant regent honeyeater population.  Contact David Geering (david.geering@environment.nsw.gov.au).

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Southern Emu-wren

The critically endangered Mount Lofty Ranges Southern Emu-wren (Stipiturus malachurus intermedius) has been reintroduced to an area from which it was extirpated by wildfire almost 20 years ago. In July 2001, 30 emu-wrens (15 male, 15 female) were transferred from Deep Creek Conservation Park 50 km NE to Cox Scrub Conservation Park (540 ha), 50 km SSE of Adelaide. A further 16 were translocated in 2002.  Southern Emu-wrens occurred in Cox Scrub Conservation Park until the fire burnt out the park in 1983, but being isolated from the nearest subpopulations, the park was not recolonised. Emu-wrens have short, rounded wings and cannot undertake sustained flight, and as such have very limited dispersal capabilities. The source population in Deep Creek Conservation Park is the largest known subpopulation of the subspecies, with at least several hundred individuals. Emu-wrens were trapped over several weeks, mostly as pairs, using mist-nets and pre-recorded calls to facilitate trapping, and transferred to the release site by road, generally on the day of capture. Monitoring during the first spring–summer breeding season revealed establishment of at least 8 breeding pairs and successful reproduction, with at least 10 young produced.  Monitoring during the second breeding season revealed up to 14 pairs, persistence of several founder-group pairs formed during the 2001–2002 breeding season and further successful reproduction including breeding by some founder-group progeny.  At least 13–16 fully-grown young were produced in 2002–2003.  Emu-wrens are small (~ 7g), secretive birds that can hardly fly.  Radio tracking is not feasible, so monitoring involves fairly arduous transect and area search methods in dense scrub, meaning that the population is probably larger than the number of birds detected.The project is funded primarily by the Commonwealth Government Endangered Species Program and S.A. Government Department for Environment and Heritage. The Conservation Council of S.A. administers the recovery program. Contact Marcus Pickett (marcus_pickett@bigpond.com)

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Eastern Bristlebird

The eastern bristlebird (Dasyornis brachypterus) is an endangered Australian passerine which is restricted to a few isolated populations. It has poor dispersal ability as it is semi-flightless. It is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, inappropriate fire regimes and introduced predators. Reintroduction was identified as a potential strategy to help reduce risks to the species from threats such as widespread intensive fire.  Bristlebirds were sourced on Bherwerre Peninsula, Jervis Bay, NSW, one of the largest remaining populations. The release site was on Beecroft Peninsula, only 12 km away and considered to be part of the former range of the species. Previous threats to bristlebirds are now being managed in the release site. In three field seasons over three years, 15 (2003), 20 (2004) and 15 (2005) bristlebirds were caught from the wild, transported to the release location and immediately released. Twenty females and 28 males were released.  At the time of writing, the reintroduction was a success. Bristlebirds were calling within days of release and have remained in the release environment for up to four years. Two unbanded bristlebirds were observed in 2005 indicating some breeding has occurred. A minimum of 21 bristlebirds were recorded in the release environment in 2006. The removal of bristlebirds over three years from a limited area in the source population had no detectable impact.  Contact David Bain, Institute for Conservation Biology and Law, University of Wollongong (dwb01@uow.edu.au).

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Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat

The northern hairy-nosed wombat (Lasiorhinus kreftii) is the most endangered mammal living in Queensland, with only 115 wombats living in one small protected area.  Currently the main threat to the species is the small size of its population, which is in a single population.  A second colony is therefore needed to minimise the risk of extinction. The recovery plan for the species aims to establish four separate colonies in the next 15 years in suitable habitat across the wombat’s historic Queensland range.  A successful trial translocation was conducted in 2006 within the dog-proof fence at Epping Forest National Park. The trial has helped the development of techniques needed to establish a second wombat population. This involved trapping and moving two sub adult wombats to an unoccupied area of the park where starter burrows were provided.  A suitable site, with the right soils, vegetation and landscape to support the wombat population, has been found near St George in southern Queensland. The site was chosen after several years of searching in central and southern Queensland using satellite imagery, soil, landform and regional ecosystem mapping, and site visits for vegetation and soil testing. A project of this scale requires the support from all the community and involves significant expense. The second site is freehold land and the owners are entering into a conservation agreement (providing legal protection) to formally secure the land for use by the wombats. The mining company Xstrata has entered into a three-year $3 million sponsorship deal partnership with the EPA. Using knowledge gained from the management of the Epping Forest National Park population and the trial move, the new release site will be suitably prepared before the wombats arrive at the new colony. Actions include: installation of a predator-proof fence; installation of supplementary feed and water stations. installation of wombat monitoring equipment; management of competitors; fire management; weed control; and preparation of wombat starter burrows. Contact Tim Holmes (Tim.Holmes@epa.qld.gov.au), Principal Project Officer, Threatened Species Unit, Environmental Proection Agency

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Tammar Wallaby

The South Australian mainland sub-species of the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii eugenii) is listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) as 'extinct in the wild'.  The sub-species has been extinct on mainland SA since the 1930s, due to predation by red foxes, hunting, and broad-scale clearance of preferred habitats for agriculture.  However, DNA analysis showed that the mainland SA tammar subspecies survived as a feral population on Kawau Island and in scattered areas near Rotorua on the North Island of New Zealand.  These populations were established in the 1800s by Governor George Grey, who had previously been Governor of South Australia.  This re-discovery of a wallaby once considered extinct prompted the Commonwealth and South Australian Governments to initiate the repatriation of these wallabies.  A total of 85 adult wallabies were successfully translocated to South Australia from Kawau Island in 2004.  These wallabies were held in quarantine at Monarto Zoo for six months and then formed the founding stock for a captive breeding program.  The primary goal of the captive breeding program is to produce sufficient stock to enable the species' reintroduction at several sites in SA. Innes National Park on lower Yorke Peninsula was chosen as the first reintroduction site. An intensive fox control program was initiated at Innes National Park in October 2003. Since November 2004, 82 tammar wallabies have been released onto Innes NP in three separate release events. PhD student Leah Kemp from the University of Adelaide has been studying the movements and habitat use of the reintroduced wallabies.  The SA Department for Environment and Heritage has established a long term monitoring program to assess the success of the reintroduction. As of March 2007, there are currently 32 wallabies (17.15F) and 7 pouch young known alive on Innes NP. There are potentially another 11 wallabies surviving on the park, but their radio-collars have either failed or the wallabies were too small for collaring when captured.  Two wallabies from the 1st release have survived on Innes for >28 months, 3 wallabies from the 2nd release have survived on Innes for >21 months and 22 wallabies from the 3rd release have survived on Innes for >5 months.  The poor survival observed for the second release group was due to poor environmental conditions at the time of the release.  The wallabies are known to be breeding, with at least 15 wallabies being born on the park.  Of these 15 young, at least two are 3rd generation Innes Tammars, born by 2nd generation mothers  Contact  Andy Sharp (sharp.andy@saugov.sa.gov.au) or visit http://www.environment.sa.gov.au/biodiversity/tammar.html.

Yellow-footed Rock Wallaby

Captive-bred Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies (Petrogale xanthopus) were re-introduced into areas of their former ranges in both South Australia and Queensland. 12 P. x. xanthopus bred by the Royal Zoological Society of South Australia were re-introduced to the arid-zone Aroona Sanctuary, Leigh Creek, in the northern Flinders Ranges of South Australia on September 26, 1996. The Royal Zoological Society of South Australia, NRG Flinders and the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage undertook the re-introduction. 24 P. x. celeris bred at the Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (Charleville) were re-introduced to Lambert Pastoral Station in the semi-arid Wallaroo Ranges on August 9, 1998. The aim of the South Australian re-introduction was to trial re-introduction methods for the genus Petrogale. Tthe aim of the Queensland re-introductions was to gain insight into how captive-bred animals biologically adapt to their unpredictable semi-arid environment. Steve Lapidge monitored both reintroductions, and submitted a PhD thesis addressing these questions [click here for abstract]. Biological parameters measured in the current study suggested that captive-bred animals had adjusted to the wild by 12 months post-release, although many changes had occurred by five months or the first recapture session for re-introduced P. x. celeris. The re-introductions of P. x. celeris to Lambert Station and P. x. xanthopus to Aroona Sanctuary are judged to be successful 3 and 5 years post-release respectively, but longer-term monitoring will be required to follow the ultimate fates of the colonies. Contact Steve Lapidge (steven.lapidge@invasiveanimals.com).

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Mala

The Mala (the central Australian subspeciesof the Rufous Hare-wallaby Lagorchestes hirsutus) (photo: Stanley Breeden) currently meets IUCN Red List criteria for 'Extinct in the Wild'. In 1998, it existed only as a semi-captive population at the 'Mala Paddock' in the Tanami Desert, NT, and some small captive populations.

Trimouille Island (part of the Montebello Islands Conservation Park, off the Pilbara coast of WA). 30 Mala were translocated from the 'paddock' In June 1998. The translocation was made possible by the eradication of black rats and the confirmed absence of cats which were recorded on the island in the 1970s. Cats have since been eradicated from nearby Hermite Island. In 1998, 30 Mala (10 males, 20 females of which 12 had pouch young) were captured at the Mala Paddock, packed two to a pet pack, driven 3 hours by 4WD to Willowra airstrip, flown to Karratha by twin-engine aircraft, and flown by helicopter to Trimouille Island, arriving just after sunset. All Mala were monitored by radio-tracked over the first 10 days after release, at 8 weeks and at 12 months. Only two Mala died during the first 12 months. Monitoring therafter was by track searches, with some hand captures to examine reproductive condition. Monitoring up to October 2000 showed that the Mala are breeding and extending their range on the island. This is a joint project between the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory and the Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. Monitoring up to September 2004 showed that the Mala are breeding and have extended their range to include the whole island. A recommendation to move the subspecies from ‘Extinct in the Wild’ to ‘Endangered’ is under consideration.  Contact Andrew Burbidge (Andrew.Burbidge@calm.wa.gov.au).

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Banded Hare Wallaby

Banded Hare Wallabies (Lagostrophus fasciatus) were reintroduced to Francois Peron National Park on the Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay, in August 2001. This is the first reintroduction of this species to a mainland site. The project is comparing soft and hard release strategies for a small number of animals (~18) as a first trial, and will closely monitor their movement and survival over the next 12 months before proceeding with further releases if successful. These reintroductions are part of CALM's "Project Eden" restoration project in the park, which involves ongoing control of feral predators and herbivores (trapping, shooting and poisoning). Previous reintroductions of Woylie (Bettongia penicillata), Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) and Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis) from 1997-2000 have all resulted in good survival and breeding. Contact Colleen Sims (colleens@calm-denham.wa.gov.au)

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Dibbler

The Dibbler (Parantechinus apicalis) is a small carnivorous marsupial with a distribution restricted to the south-west of WA (coastal habitats of Fitzgerald River National Park along the south coast, plus Boullager and Whitlock Islands about 300 km north of Perth). Stock from the two islands was bred at Perth Zoo, and captive-bred animals were released on Escape Island in 1998. This was a conservation introduction aimed to establish dibblers in a more secure site given that the other islands are at risk from house mice and other risks (fire, pets) associated with high visitation to the islands by people. Of the initial 26 dibblers released in 1998, 5-10 were consistently captured, and bred the following season in 1999. A further 41 captive-bred animals were released in 1999 and a further 19 in early 2000. An indication of the success of the translocation, at least in the short-term, is the 72 individuals captured in October 2000. Of these, 18 were translocated animals (4 from 1998, 11 from 1999, 3 from 2000) and 40 were born on the island (14 adults born in 1999 and 26 juveniles). All appeared in good or very good condition. Contact Dorian Moro (dmmv@chevron.com)

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Swamp Antechinus

There was a trial reintroduction of swamp antechinus (Antechinus minimus) to Anglesea heathand, Victoria, in December 1991, March 1992, and March-April 1993. The species appeared to have been exterminated from the area by the Ash Wednesday fires of 1983, as none turned up in subsequent annual trapping. The release site consisted of 10 ha of tall dry heathland and wet heaths surrounded by low woodland, and the vegetation appeared similar to that occurring before the fires.  Five males and 5 females were translocated from Port Campbell (200 km to west) each year, with juveniles taken in 1991 and adults the other 2 years.  The animals were captured in small Elliott traps, transported by 4WD, and usually released on the day of capture, although some were kept 2-3 days in cages.  They were released in artificial burrows. Initially radio tracking was used to track the animals, then trapping session once a year for 5 years.  Successful breeding was observed only with the third reintroduction attempt (the species needs to breed every year given that the male lifespan is only one year) and there do not appear to be any animals presently at release site.  Some had been found within 5 km away, but are not thought to be descendents of reintroduced animals. See Aberton et al. (1994) and Aberton (1996). Contact John Aberton (jgabert@deakin.edu.au).

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Lakeland Downs Short-tailed Mouse

The Lakeland Downs Short-tailed Mouse, Leggadina lakedownensis, occurs in arid-zone sandy ecosystems across northern Australia, and on Thevenard Island in the remote northwest of WA. This species is rarely captured on the mainland, so the island population is an important refugium for the species and is also genetically unique from northern populations. In 1996, 65 mice were translocated to Serrurier Island from Thevenard Island. The translocation was a conservation introduction performed as a security measure against the future poison-baiting of house mice on Thevenard Island. Mice were initially monitored by radiotelemetry and subsequently by trapping. Monitoring of the population two years later resulted in 344 individuals being captured, with 206 mice caught per 100 trap-nights. This is more than twice the capture rate of native mice on Thevenard IslandHigh rainfall years, coupled with the release of a high number of founder individuals, is believed to have contributed to the success of this translocation. However, this translocation can also serve as a warning of the high densities that some species can reach when introduced into environments. Contact Dorian Moro (dmmv@chevron.com).

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Shark Bay Mouse

Djoongari (Shark Bay Mouse, Pseudomys fieldi), which were previously restricted to a single island, were introduced to North West Island (135 ha, Montabello Islands, Western Australia) in 1999 and 2000. Survey in 2001 has shown that they have bred and now occupy the whole island. The translocation was part of the Montabello Islands Renewal Project involving eradication of cats and black rats and reintroduction or introduction of threatened species. Surveys up to September 2004 have shown that they have bred and have occupied the whole island since 2001.Contact Andrew Burbidge (Andrew.Burbidge@calm.wa.gov.au).

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New Holland Mouse

Mandy Lock (PhD student) is currently in the process of releasing captive bred Pseudomys novaehollandiae (New Holland Mouse), an endangered species in Victoria, into the Anglesea heathlands. Mandy has bred 20-30 of the animals at Deakin University, and some at Melbourne zoo. She was previously trapping animals in the heathlands. Up to 40-50 were found two years ago, but this is now down to 2-5 being trapped over large area. Contact John Aberton (jgabert@deakin.edu.au).

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Greater stick-nest Rat(Leporillus conditor)

Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary (New South Wales). 100 greater stick-nest rats were reintroduced to a 4000 ha fenced area on Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in western New South Wales in April 2006.  Approximately one third of the rats were sourced from an introduced population on Reevesby Island in South Australia, and the remainder were captive bred animals, previously held in small enclosures at Scotia and Yookamurra Wildlife Sanctuaries.  A number of rats from each source population were radio collared.  Significant mortality of the collared animals occurred in the first two weeks following translocation, due predominantly to pneumonia, which may have been a result of the stress of translocation and high rates of dispersal.  Since this time rats appear to have settled in and have constructed stick nests.  Contact Jacqui Richards (jacqui@australianwildlife.org), Australian Wildlife Sanctuaries (www.australianwildlife.org).

Faure Island (Western Australia). 22 greater stick-nest rats were translocated to Faure Island Wildlife Sanctuary in Shark Bay, Western Australia, in September 2006.  16 came from an introduced population on St Peters Island in South Australia and 6 from an introduced population on Salutation Island in Shark Bay.  A subset of rats were radio collared, and the South Australian rats dispersed widely, while the Salutation Island animals did not disperse far from the release site.  Three of the smallest individuals died immediately post-translocation due to predation by a raptor and similar stresses of translocation.  Other collared animals were located amongst dense chenopod shrublands with diurnal resting sites under dense shrubs, but no signs of nest construction were evident. Contact Jacqui Richards (jacqui@australianwildlife.org), Australian Wildlife Sanctuaries (www.australianwildlife.org).

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Brush-tailed Bettong (Bettongia penicillata)

Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary (Western Australia). 96 woylies or brush-tailed bettongs were translocated from 280 ha Karakamia to 2,000 ha Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary, in the Avon Valley east of Perth, in July 2006, to supplement the Paruna population.  The other aim was to relieve the pressure on the high-density population at Karakamia prior to the warmer and drier summer months.  10 of the woylies were radio collared to monitor survival and dispersal for three months after release and trapping was conducted at the same time throughout the sanctuary.  During post-release monitoring three woylies were killed by fox/cat and raptor predation and the remainder did not disperse far from the release site.  Over 75% of the released animals were re-trapped in the three months post-release and a number of Paruna-born animals plus animals from a previous release were trapped also.  Contact Jacqui Richards (jacqui@australianwildlife.org), Australian Wildlife Sanctuaries (www.australianwildlife.org).

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Southern Brown Bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus)

Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary (Western Australia). 37 quenda or southern brown bandicoots were translocated from development sites in the Perth metropolitan area, and a handful from wildlife carers, to Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary in 2006.  These animals are monitored only during an annual survey and during targeted trapping for reintroduced woylies.  Contact Jacqui Richards (jacqui@australianwildlife.org), Australian Wildlife Sanctuaries (www.australianwildlife.org).

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Eastern Barred Bandicoot (Perameles gunii)

On 25 June 2007, 24 (16 female, 8 male) captive-bred Eastern Barred Bandicoot’s (Perameles gunnii) were released into the Hamilton Community Parklands, Victoria, Australia. The Parklands are a 100-ha grassy woodland reserve surrounded by a predator barrier fence. A population of bandicoots was previously present here, but it is thought that it became extinct a few years ago due to difficulties in predator control. Prior to release, the predator barrier fence was upgraded and regular fence checks, maintenance and predator control now occurs; no fox incursions have been made since the release. A second release of 6 (2 female; 4 male) captive bred bandicoots occurred on 12 November 2007. These releases occurred due to confidence in keeping the reserve fox free, the presence of good quality habitat and to study habitat preference. Monitoring occurs by trapping and forms part of Amy Winnard’s PhD project on habitat suitability. During the last trapping in November, bandicoots had spread throughout the majority of the Parklands and were in good condition. Most females had pouch young and/or were weaning; for most, this was the second known litter since June 2007.  From Amy Winnard (a.winnard@pgrad.unimelb.edu.au).

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Grevillea scapigera

The Corrigin Grevillea (G. scapigera: Proteaceae) is one of the world's rarest plant species, currently known from 5 plants in the wild in the Western Australian wheatbelt. In 1995, 10 plants were selected from 47 plants known at the time to act as genetically representative founders for translocation into secure sites. Ramets were micropropagated and introduced into one of these secure sites (Corrigin) in 1996, 1997, and 1998. By late 1998, 266 plants had been translocated and were producing large numbers of seeds. With the development of an artificial seed-germination technique, and lack of seed germination in situ, seed was collected from these plants, germinated ex situ, and 161 seedlings returned to the field site in winter 1999. We used AFLP ( a DNA fingerprinting technique) to (1) assess the genetic fidelity of the clones through the propagation process, (2) contrast genetic variation and average genetic similarities of the F1s to their parents to assess genetic decline, and (3) assign paternity to the reintroduced seeds to assess the reproductive success of each clone. We found that (1) 8 clones, not 10, were present in the translocated population and 54% of all plants were a single clone, (2) the F1s were on average 22% more inbred and 20% less heterozygous than their parents, largely because (3) 85% of all seeds were the product of only four clones. Ne (effective population size) was therefore about 2. Such rapid genetic decline may be a feature of many translocated populations when Ne is small, and may threaten long-term survival. Strategies to reverse such genetic declines include equalizing founder numbers, adding new genotypes when discovered, promoting multiple siring and reducing kinship, promoting seed germination in situ rather than germinating seeds ex situ, and creating a metapopulation of numerous translocated populations. Contact Siegy Krauss (skrauss@kpbg.wa.gov.au).
 

Grevillea althroferorum

Just 298 plants of Grevillea althroferorum (split-leaved Grevillea) still exist in the wild. The species is restricted to two small and considerably disjunct populations (the populations are separated by 200km of mainly cleared farmland) north of Perth, Western Australia. In September 2005, the Department of Conservation and Land Management introduced 73 plants grown from cuttings to South Eneabba Nature Reserve. Although the species has never been recorded at this site the habitat has similar soils and associated vegetation. A watering system has been installed and half the plants will be watered over the first summer to assess the importance of watering to translocation success. Further planting is planned to ensure the population is viable. A long term monitoring program has been developed to assess the success of this planting.  Contact Leonie Monks, Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia (leonie@calm.wa.gov.au).
 

Synaphea quartzitica

As its name suggests, the Quartz-loving Synaphea (Synaphea quartzitica) is found only on quartz and chert hills north of Perth. As it was only known from four populations a decision was made to find a new site with suitable habitat in a nature reserve. Such a site was found north of Watheroo (approximately 200 km north of Perth, Western Australia) and in August 2005 225 plants grown using tissue culture techniques were planted out. Similar to the Split-leaved Grevillea half the plants were watered and the other half left unwatered to assess the need for watering over the first summer. Further updates on this translocation will be available as part of the ongoing monitoring of the translocation. Contact Leonie Monks (leonie@calm.wa.gov.au).
 

Lambertia orbifolia

A decision was made to translocate Round-leaf Honeysuckle (Lambertia orbifolia) after the species was split into two subspecies following genetic work. This meant that the form near Albany, Western Australia (subsequently named Lambertia orbifolia subsp. orbifolia) was listed as critically endangered because it was known from just two populations of 169 individuals, both of which are infected with aerial canker and dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi). To date we have introduced 714 seedlings and cuttings into a nature reserve a few kilometers away from the known populations. The survival of the first three years of planting is 47% of the 615 plants (the last 106 seedlings were only planted in May so survival data is not yet available). The plants from the first three years have all grown, flowered and set viable seed and at last count 104 naturally recruited seedlings have been found – a positive indication that this population may be self-sustaining. Contact Leonie Monks (leonie@calm.wa.gov.au).
 

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Australian Wildlife Conservancy

The Australian Wildlife Conservancy manages 13 wildlife sanctuaries across Australia covering over 650,000 hectares.  Reintroductions of threatened mammals and birds have taken place at a number of these sanctuaries since 1994. Thirty-eight quenda (southern brown bandicoots), six numbats, 37 woylies (brush-tailed bettongs), 42 western ringtail possums, four quokkas and 13 tammar wallabies were translocated to Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in Chidlow, near Perth, between 1994 and 1998.  All species have persisted, and over 450 woylies have been transferred from Karakamia to stock other AWC and WA Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) reintroduction sites (predominantly National Parks and Nature Reserves).  Foxes and feral cats are excluded from the 280 ha fenced sanctuary. Over 200 woylies, over 90 quenda, 44 tammar wallabies and 43 black-flanked rock-wallabies were translocated to Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Avon Valley north of Perth between 2000 and 2005.  All species have established populations and are regularly sighted or captured during regular monitoring by trapping and spotlighting.  Further translocations of woylies from Karakamia to Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary are planned for 2006.  Foxes and feral cats are controlled within the 2,000 ha corridor, through baiting programs, 14 km of fence, the Avon River, and two National Parks that are also baited for introduced predators. Seventeen burrowing bettongs and 114 Shark Bay mice were translocated to Faure Island in Shark Bay in 2002, 19 banded hare-wallabies in 2004 and 20 western barred bandicoots in 2005.  All have established well, with over 140 bettongs captured during the last monitoring period in July 2005, illustrating the suitability of the habitat and rapid population growth in the absence of introduced predators.  Cats were eradicated from the island in 2001.  A PhD student from the University of Western Australia, Felicity Donaldson, has been studying the ecology and genetics of burrowing bettongs on Faure Island, and Barrow, Bernier and Dorre Islands. 120 burrowing bettongs, 190 woylies, 120 bridled nailtail wallabies and 40 greater bilbies were translocated to Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in western New South Wales between December 2004 and September 2005.  All the translocations have been successful, and a PhD student from the University of Sydney, Graham Finlayson, has been closely monitoring the translocated populations in conjunction with AWC.  Eleven black-eared miners were reintroduced to Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in October 2005 in conjunction with New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage.  Additional animals are due for release in November.  A 4,000 ha area of Scotia is fenced to exclude introduced predators for the mammal reintroductions, and a further 4,000 ha fenced area is due for completion in early 2006.  Six numbats were transferred from Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary to the Arid Recovery Reserve in South Australia in November 2005.  The population at Scotia was derived from 19 numbats reintroduced to Scotia in 1999.  More information see www.australianwildlife.org.

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Heirisson Prong

Heirrison Prong is a peninsula in Western Australia with an ongoing restoration and reintroduction programme. The programme involves the local community, a mining company and CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology. So far burrowing bettong and western barred bandicoots have been reintroduced, and reintroductions of other species are planned. For more information, see the Heirisson Prong website or contact Jeff Short (jeff.short@optusnet.com.au).

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Arid Recovery Project

The Arid Recovery Project is a joint conservation initiative between WMC Resources, Dept of Environment S.A., University of Adelaide and the local community. The project has fenced and excluded rabbits, cats and foxes from a 60 square km Reserve near Roxby Downs in northern South Australia. Four threatened mammal species have been re-introduced namely the greater bilby, burrowing bettong (boodie), western-barred bandicoot and greater stick-nest rat.  The success of the re-introductions can be attributed to the specially designed and tested 1.8m boundary netting fence which has not been breached by cats of foxes since its construction.  The project is research-based to study the restoration of ecological processes following the removal of rabbits, cats and foxes. More than 300 monitoring sites have been established and recent results include five times as many native rodents at sites inside the Reserve compared to outside sites.  For more information visit the Arid Recovery Website.

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Reintroduction Specialist Group, Oceania Section

Updated 13 March 2009