Native rodent trapped for the first time in WA in 36 years

The female black-footed tree-rat was captured and released in the north-west Kimberley
The female black-footed tree-rat was captured and released in the north-west Kimberley DBCA
The elusive black-footed tree-rat has been trapped in the remote North-West Kimberley for the first time since 1982.
 
The black-footed tree-rat is a large tree dwelling rodent with distinctive black feet and a long black and white tail.
 
Weighing up to 850 grams, it is one of Australia's largest rodents and was rediscovered in the Kimberley after photographic evidence confirmed its existence last year.
 
It was the first time the species, which is endemic to Australia, had been seen in the Kimberley for more than 30 years, despite considerable survey efforts over those years.
Last week, staff from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) captured and released the female tree-rat at Bachsten Creek near the southern boundary of Prince Regent National Park.
 
Annual monitoring in the Kimberley revealed several other threatened and endemic mammals, including golden bandicoots, brush-tailed rabbit rats and golden-backed tree rats have increased in numbers.
 
Prescribed burning in the late wet and early dry season has substantially reduced the amount of large and intensive bushfires in the region - one of the most significant threats to these animals.
 
Comments attributed to Environment Minister Stephen Dawson:
 
"This latest capture is the result of hard work and commitment to conservation by staff at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. Each year researchers from the department survey mammals in more than 100 locations across the north Kimberley. 
 
"Capture of the black-footed tree-rat cements the Kimberley's reputation as a stronghold for species that are now extinct across the northern regions of Australia.
 
"This animal, which was captured in the remote and rugged North-West Kimberley, highlights how incredibly important this part of the Kimberley is for our native species."
Last modified on Monday, 30 July 2018 16:43