If you have seen a Black-gloved Wallaby (Macropus irma - aka. Western Brush Wallaby) in the Wilson Inlet Catchment then then we want to hear from you!
WICC has received $100,000 from the state government’s State Natural Resource Management Office (SNRMO) to help save the Black-gloved Wallaby and Honey possums in the Wilson Inlet Catchment. Both of these iconic native species are under threat from feral predators (particularly foxes for wallabies and feral cats for honey possums).
The Black-gloved Wallaby was very common in the early days of European arrival before large numbers were traded commercially for skins. Their range has been further reduced and fragmented due to land clearing and predation from foxes. They are currently distributed from Kalbarri to Cape Arid. They prefer open forest or woodland, particularly favouring open, seasonally-wet flats with low grasses and open scrubby thickets. They are also found in some areas of mallee and heath-land, and are uncommon in karri forest. They are pale to mid grey with distinct white facial stripe, black and white ears, black hands and feet. They have a long tail with crest of black hair towards extremity. They move fast with head low and tail extended.
The Noongar People of the Southwest of WA maintain an important connection with these wallabies. Wayne Webb, Elder of the Pibbulman Wadandi Tribe says, ‘Our Yoongungjarli (original people with connection) cannot be separated from the environment. Each person is given a totem, whether animal, plant, insect or bird. It teaches you how every living creature is of equal importance to Noongar Boodjara (People). If everyone looks after their totem, then the balance is kept. If everyone only took what they needed and shared or traded what other don’t have, we would be a lot healthier and happier. Kwoora (Black-gloved wallaby) is one of those totems that has its role in nature. It also supplies us with dartcha (meat), skin for bookah (clothing), cootah (bags) and fur for ceremony. To protect kwoora is to keep nature’s cycle strong as they are brother or sister to someone.’
WICC will be implementing an intensive baiting program throughout our catchment on shire land and private property (with landholder permission) to reduce the threats from predators for these two species. Research has shown that a comprehensive baiting program will reduce approximately 80% of the foxes in the baiting area.
While we largely know where Honey possum habitat is (proteaceae rich bushland), there is a knowledge gap regarding the current distribution of Black-gloved Wallabies in our region. THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN! If you have seen a Black-gloved Wallaby in our catchment (alive or dead) we would LOVE to hear about it. Based on your reports…we will be setting up a network of camera traps (motion activated cameras), fur traps and sand traps in order to determine the current distribution of these wallabies in our catchment. WICC will also be utilising the skills of the Aboriginal Green Army Team with the assistance of South Coast Natural Resource Management to ground truth their habitat in the field, and review camera footage utilising monitoring protocols which have been established based on previous experience. Once their habitat is determined we will be baiting with 1080 using Canid Pest Ejectors (this is a fixed bait which can not be translocated by birds thus minimising the potential for baits to be redistributed into unintended areas). WICC will also be looking to utilised Eradicat (especially in Honey possum habit) which has proven effective on control of feral cats. We will be using a registered and highly experience feral fauna pest controller and abiding by all current legislation and Australian best practice.
This program is funded by the West Australian SNRMO, with in kind support from the Shire of Denmark and Plantagenet and WICC. SNRMO funds will be paying for a coordinator for two years to assist WICC to Implement the Lindesay Link Conservation Action Plan. Black-gloved Wallabies and Honey Possums are two key conservation targets identified in the Lindesay Link Conservation Action Plan.
Further information regarding areas to be baited and signage on all baiting areas will be provided to the public before baiting commences. If you would like to report a wallaby sighting, please fill out the form below. Once you make a sighting you will (if you opt in) receive quarterly email updates regarding their habitat, what we have learned and the results of our monitoring. Between us we can make a difference.