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News and media statements

All Parks and Wildlife Service news items and media statements produced after mid-August 2019 are available on the new departmental website .

Media statements archive

Media statements archive

(This website contains news items and media statements produced prior to August 2019 only.)

Swimming with whale sharks

International whale shark conference set for Ningaloo

The World Heritage-listed Ningaloo Coast has been chosen as the location for the 2019 International Whale Shark Conference. Hosted by the Department of Parks and Wildlife with support from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, whale shark conservation group ECOCEAN and CSIRO, the event will be held in Exmouth in May 2019. Held every three years, the conference aims to generate and support international collaboration in whale shark science, conservation and management.  Previous host countries have included Mexico, the United States and Qatar. Ningaloo Marine Park is one of only a few places in the world where whale sharks appear regularly in near-shore waters in numbers and where they are easily visible to observers.  As a result, Exmouth and Coral Bay are world renowned for…

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Bobtails in hand

Bobtails destined for Japanese black market seized

A man has been charged after he was intercepted at Perth International Airport attempting to smuggle 13 native bobtail lizards into Japan. On 24 May, Australian Border Force (ABF) officials detected a suspicious package inside a suitcase during x-ray screening, and notified wildlife officers from the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife. The suitcase contained seven live adult bobtail lizards and six live babies in cotton bags. A Japanese national was arrested and charged by ABF with attempting to export a regulated native specimen, contrary to section 303DD(1) of the Environment Protection and Bio-diversity Conservation Act 1999. Parks and Wildlife will lay charges for taking protected fauna, contrary to section 16(1) of the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950. The man has appeared in court and will…

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The male chuditch captured at Lowlands Nature Reserve.

Chuditch discovered in Serpentine

Parks and Wildlife staff made an exciting discovery last week when they trapped a male chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii), while undertaking native animal monitoring at Lowlands Nature Reserve near Serpentine. It is the first time a chuditch has been captured in the reserve for 20 years. The capture followed a sighting of a chuditch from a remote camera in late April - the first sighting of the species in this reserve since 2000. The capture and remote cameras are part of a fauna monitoring program at the reserve targeting threatened native mammal species the quenda, brushtail possum and rakali (or water rat) to track their numbers and response to management actions such as fox-baiting. Swan Coastal District Manager Brett Fitzgerald said the capture highlighted the increasing…

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Middle Island - the jewel in the crown

Middle Island - the jewel in the crown

The distinctive pink lake on Middle Island near Esperance will be better protected following an increased focus on balancing visitation with the natural values of the island. Strategies are being developed by Parks and Wildlife in conjunction with stakeholders to better manage the unique ecology of Middle Island near Esperance, while still allowing visitors to experience the unique island. The 985ha island, which is 121km east south east of Esperance, is home to the popular tourist attraction Lake Hillier. Although the lake is remote and difficult to access, it attracts many domestic and international visitors each year. Parks and Wildlife Esperance district manager Rob Blok said more tourists were visiting the lake because of its distinctive pink colour, caused by low levels of nutrients and…

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Prescribed burning result best in 29 years

Prescribed burning result best in 29 years

Prescribed burning an essential tool to protect communities Burning creates lower fuel loads across larger areas of the State's south-west helping to reduce the severity and size of bushfires Environment Minister Stephen Dawson today announced that about 238,000 hectares of prescribed burning had been achieved this season - the best outcome in 29 years. The last time an amount of this magnitude was achieved was 1987-88, when 252,000ha were burnt. Prescribed burning significantly reduces the threat and severity of damaging bushfires, minimising the risk to life and infrastructure. Since July 1, 2016, the Department of Parks and Wildlife has completed 91 burns in national parks, conservation reserves and State forests, from Gingin in the north to Denmark on the south coast as well as in…

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