World record feral cat eradication for Dirk Hartog Island

Dirk Hartog Island National Park, off Western Australia's Mid-West coast, has become the world's largest island to have cats, sheep and goats fully eradicated, paving the way for extensive threatened animal re-introductions over the next 12 years.

Announcing the second stage of the groundbreaking 'Return to 1616' ecological restoration program, Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today declared the 63,000-hectare island cat, goat and sheep-free.

Dirk Hartog Island is the State's largest island and is home to the first known European landing on WA soil by Dutch explorer Dirk Hartog and his crew in 1616.

Since the introduction of grazing animals, cats and weeds, 10 native mammal species have been lost from the island. More than 5,000 sheep and 11,000 goats have now been removed, resulting in improved vegetation and habitat for native species.

Following extensive baiting, trapping and monitoring, no feral cats have been detected on the island since October 2016, making it the world's largest island-based feral cat eradication project.

 

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Milestone for Kalbarri Skywalk project

The completion of the world-class Kalbarri Skywalk project is one step closer, with the contract to construct two skywalks awarded to Bocol Constructions Pty Ltd.

The two 100-metre-high skywalks at the West Loop site in Kalbarri National Park will project 25 metres and 17 metres beyond the rim of the Murchison River Gorge, providing visitors with soaring views of the spectacular gorge and surrounding environment.

Construction of the skywalks is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

The $20 million project has also included the sealing of 22 kilometres of park roads, and the expansion and upgrading of the Z Bend and Meanarra Hill tourist sites.

 

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Spring prescribed burning underway

Prescribed burning is now underway in areas surrounding Perth and across the south-west of the State to protect communities from devastating summer bushfires.

The Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is using favourable spring conditions to undertake prescribed burns.

A mix of larger burns on forest areas and smaller burns closer to communities and townsites during spring will significantly reduce the threat and severity of devastating bushfires and help protect lives, infrastructure and biodiversity values.

Prescribed burning is highly dependent on suitable weather conditions, fuel moisture and a range of other factors to be undertaken safely.

 

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Public encouraged to have their say on forest management

The Conservation and Parks Commission is encouraging people to comment on the Draft mid-term review of performance of the Forest Management Plan 2014-2023. You can view the document and submit comments until 19 October 2018 via the Conservation and Parks Commission website at www.conservation.wa.gov.au.

  • red necked stint
    The red necked stint migrates from Siberia
    - Photo © B & B Wells/Parks and Wildlife

    Migratory waterbirds include species such as plovers, sandpipers, stints, curlews and snipes.

    These incredible birds make round trip migrations of up to 26,000 kilometres each year between their summer breeding grounds in the northern hemisphere and their feeding areas in the south.These trips are made in several weeks, with brief stops at staging sites along the way to rest and refuel for the next leg of their journey.

    The corridor through which these waterbirds migrate is known as the East Asian - Australasian Flyway.

    • It extends from within the Arctic Circle, through east and south-east Asia, to Australia and New Zealand.
    • Stretching across 22 countries, it is one of eight major waterbird flyways recognised around the globe.

    At least two million migratory waterbirds visit Australia each year during our summer.

    • At least 36 species of migratory waterbirds visit Australian wetlands each year.
      • A further 16 species occasionally visit Australia.
      • Another 15 species—at least 1.1 million birds—permanently live in Australia.
    • In about September each year, hundreds of thousands of migratory waterbirds begin to arrive and inhabit wetlands of Western Australia's north- and south-west, feeding mostly on the invertebrates that live in shallow water in drying wetlands, tidal flats and salt marshes.
    • Common species include the red-necked stint, curlew sandpiper, sharp-tailed sandpiper, bar-tailed godwit and greenshank.

    Conserving migratory waterbirds

    parry lagoon kimb 1 Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve, Kimberley - Photo © M Coote/H Smith.

    Migratory waterbirds and their habitats are internationally protected because:

    • land use activities such as agriculture, mining and urban development can impact on wetlands visited by migratory waterbirds.
    • along their migratory route, the birds stop at many different wetlands. Because disturbance at one site affects the entire network of wetlands used by these birds, it is important to protect wetlands all along the flyway.

    Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy

    Australia, with other countries, has developed regional strategies to help protect the habitats of migratory waterbirds, the most recent of which is the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership.

    Its goal is to recognise and manage a network of important wetland sites to ensure the long-term conservation of migratory shorebirds along the flyway.

    Nineteen of these important sites are in Australia, four in Western Australia within Ramsar Sites and managed by the department:

      Explore Parks provides visitor information on parks in Western Australia.

    International agreements on migratory waterbird conservation

    Australia is a signatory to three international agreements that protect and recognise the importance of conserving migratory birds and their habitats:

    Species of migratory birds that occur in Australia, Japan, China and the Republic of Korea are listed under the three agreements.

    Related resources:

    • Shorebirds and seabirds of the Pilbara coast and islands

      Shorebirds and seabirds of the Pilbara coast and islands

      The Pilbara coast and islands, including the Exmouth Gulf, provide important refuge for a number of shorebird and seabird species. For migratory shorebirds, sandy spits, sandbars, rocky shores, sandy beaches, salt marshes, intertidal flats and mangroves are important feeding and resting habitat during spring and summer, when the birds escape the harsh winter of their northern hemisphere breeding grounds. 

      pdfShorebirds and seabirds of the Pilbara Coast and islands1.59 MB