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Western Shield is the lead wildlife recovery program of DBCA's Parks and Wildlife Service. It is one of the largest wildlife conservation programs ever undertaken in Australia. It aims to protect native animals within Parks and Wildlife Service-managed land and selected remnant bushland areas of WA's with the intent of returning native species diversity to levels comparable to pre-European settlement. The program has a particular focus on threatened species.

Western Shield is working to protect WA's native wildlife through the broadscale management of introduced predators including foxes and feral cats. Management of introduced predators has facilitated increases in the population size and distribution of a number of priority native species including the numbat, quokka, western brush wallaby and black-flanked rock wallaby. 

The management of introduced predators across more than three million hectares of Parks and Wildlife Service-managed land and associated partner areas occurs on a regular and ongoing basis. Find out more about our baiting locations here.


Numbat. Photo - DBCA

Why do we need Western Shield?

Over the past 100 years, more mammals have become extinct in Australia than anywhere else in the world. Since European settlement, Western Australia has seen:

  • the extinction of 17 terrestrial mammal species
  • the loss of seven mammal species from the mainland, only persisting on on a few offshore islands
  • more than 60 terrestrial mammal species, 51 birds and 21 reptiles decline in population significantly or become threatened with extinction.

The native mammals most at risk are easy prey: small and medium-sized animals weighing between 35 grams and 5.5 kilograms.

Adult brushtail possum with young on her back
Brushtail possums - Photo © DBCA

It is not known what the full impact of the loss of these particular species has had on WA's environment. However, many of these species that are now extinct or highly threatened had important ecological roles, such as reworking the soil and increasing the dispersal and germination of seeds. Many were pivotal in the culture of Aboriginal Australians, as food sources, totemic beings and as part of their understanding of their country and its creation. The extinction or decline of any species is therefore of great concern environmentally as well as culturally.

There is now overwhelming evidence to indicate that the decline and loss of many of these species was directly linked to the introduction of predators such as foxes and feral cats. Together with the loss of habitat, these are key factors in the decline of native wildlife.

Foxes and feral cats continue to populate even some of the most remote areas of Australia placing enormous pressure on vulnerable native species. More extinctions seem inevitable unless foxes and feral cats are managed  to protect wildlife. Western Shield is working to achieve this. 

Interested in native wildlife and keen to help out?

Visit Western Shield - Camera Watch, an online citizen science webpage where you can volunteer to help the Parks and Wildlife Service understand how our management is working. Simply tell us what animals you see in the images.

 For more ideas on how you can get involved, visit dbca.wa.gov.au/volunteering.

Western Shield Action pack

Activities on threatened species

Lesson plans and activities on threatened species for educations. Curriculum-aligned resources for students in Years 4 to 6, developed by Nearer to Nature education program.

Download the  pdfWestern Shield Action Pack.pdf9.56 MB.

Nearer to Nature hosts a wide range of education activities focused on the work of Western Shield, as well as other nature-based topics, suitable for either schools or communities. Find out more at pws.dbca.wa.gov.au/nearertonature

Find a conservation group

Baiting locations

Fox and feral cat 1080 baiting locations in Western Australia are available for viewing and download as PDFs.

View the fox and cat baiting locations.



Sponsors

Alcoa, Tronox and Western Areas NL all generously support the program through sponsorships.

There is now overwhelming evidence to indicate that the decline and loss of many of these species was directly linked to the introduction of predators such as foxes and feral cats, together with the loss of habitat, these are key factors in the decline of native wildlife.

Articles in this category:

Title Modified Date
Involving the community Sunday, 27 September 2020 11:14
Managing the threats Thursday, 19 November 2020 16:23
Measuring success Sunday, 27 September 2020 15:54
Rebuilding threatened populations Sunday, 27 September 2020 16:04
Species we are protecting Sunday, 27 September 2020 11:11
Western Shield fox and feral cat baiting locations Sunday, 27 September 2020 15:57