The Woylie, also known as the brush-tailed bettong, will be one of 10 locally-extinct mammal species that will soon be introduced in stages to Dirk Hartog Island in Western Australia.
While clearing the island of feral species in a three to four year program, researchers at the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) will breed the threatened species in captivity in preparation for releasing them into the wild. The cat eradication program will commence in 2018.
According to senior researcher Keith Morris, the animals will be fitted and tracked with implanted radio transmitters to monitor their progress once introduced to Dirk Hartog Island.
Why Dirk Hartog Island?
A 60 000 ha National Park, Dirk Hartog Island was once known for it’s extensive mammal fauna. A former pastoral lease, Dirk Hartog Island is being developed as a conservation reserve by the WA state government in agreement with the Wardle family.
Species that will be introduced include:
- Boodie (Bettongia lesueu)
- Woylie (Bettongia penicillata)
- Western Barred Bandicoot (Perameles bougainville)
- Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroi)
- Brush-tailed mulgara(Dasycercus blythi)
- Dibbler (Parantechinus apicali)
- Greater Stick-nest rat (Leporillus conditor)
- Desert Mouse (Pseudomys desertor)
- Shark Bay Mouse (Pseudomys fieldi)
- Heath Mouse (Pseudomys shortridgei)
Source article: Threatened species to be reintroduced to Dirk Hartog Island by Geoff Vivian.