Safeguarding our precious wildlife

A rare marsupial has been released on Dirk Hartog Island following a marathon 844-kilometre journey from Western Australia’s outback.

One-hundred brush-tailed mulgaras, 60 females and 40 males, were captured in Matuwa Kurrara Kurrara National Park in the remote Goldfields and travelled by plane and helicopter to their new home.

This is the eighth species to be relocated to the island since the Return to 1616 project began in 2012. The aim is to restore the island to its ecological condition from the time the Dutch sailor explored the area four centuries ago.

Brush-tailed Mulgara release | Photo credit: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Brush-tailed mulgaras are classified as near-threatened.

The project has also seen the reintroduction of rufous hare-wallabies, banded hare-wallabies, Shark Bay bandicoots, greater stick-nest rats, Shark Bay mice, dibblers and western grasswrens. Feral cats, sheep and goats were eradicated from Dirk Hartog island in 2018.

The program is primarily funded through the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Fund, with additional support from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Wiluna Martu rangers of the Tarlka Matuwa Piarku Aboriginal Corporation helped with the translocation and were welcomed to the island by Malgana Traditional Owners.

More information here.