Return of the Dibblers

Dirk Island National Park is the new home of 36 dibblers bred in captivity at the Perth Zoo. Dibblers, not much bigger than a house mouse, are among Australia’s rarest marsupial.

This latest rewilding by scientists from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is the third release of this species onto the island, bringing the total number to 93.

Although these totally cute little animals are not easy to monitor, there is evidence that those previously released are successfully breeding.

The re-introduction of the dibblers to Dirk Hartog Island to a feral cat free habitat is part of the ‘Return to 1616’ ecological restoration project.


Video credit: DBCA

Nine dibblers in the recent group have been temporarily placed in enclosures to trial a soft release to encourage the animals to remain closer to release sites and improve opportunities for long-term monitoring.

Since commencing the return of wildlife program for Dirk Hartog Island, scientists have translocated rufous hare-wallabies, banded hare-wallabies, Shark Bay bandicoots, dibblers, Shark Bay mice and greater stick-nest rats.

The project’s first stage involved eradicating feral cats, goats and sheep to help restore the native fauna habitat.

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