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.)

Lake Mealup

National recognition for Lake Mealup recovery

A collaborative project to restore an internationally-significant wetland south of Mandurah has been named as a finalist in a national river management competition. The Lake Mealup Recovery Program, managed by the Department of Parks and Wildlife, is one of three finalists in contention for the 2015 Australian Riverprize of $200,000, to be awarded by the International RiverFoundation in Brisbane next month. Parks and Wildlife project officer Heidi Bucktin said the recovery program – delivered through a multi-organisation partnership – had been successful in improving water quality at Lake Mealup since 2012. “Lake Mealup is part of the Ramsar-listed Peel-Yalgorup wetlands and an important waterbird refuge, but it has suffered from declining water levels and water acidification,” Ms Bucktin said. “The key component of the recovery…

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Seal thermo-regulating off the coast of Perth

Seals visit Perth shores

The Department of Parks and Wildlife is reminding people that seals resting on beaches or swimming close to shores should be left undisturbed, following numerous recent sightings of seals on the Perth coast. Parks and Wildlife Swan Region marine park coordinator Melissa Evans said it was common to see Australian sea lions and New Zealand fur seals along the Perth shoreline year-round, as well as sub-Antarctic fur seals and other seal species during the winter months. “In the past few weeks, we have recorded lots of sightings of seals and sea lions swimming close to our shores, particularly near Quinns Rocks and Fremantle,” she said. “In particular, people have reported fur seals spinning or twisting around in the water and sticking their flippers in the…

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Pedro Palheiro at Millstream Chichester National Park

New fire planning officer joins the Pilbara Parks and Wildlife team

Developing fire management plans and conducting prescribed burns in the Fortescue River catchment area are high on the agenda for new Pilbara-based Department of Parks and Wildlife fire planning officer Pedro Palheiro. Mr Palheiro is based at Millstream Chichester National Park, 140km south of Karratha, and as part of the Pilbara Corridors project is working with pastoral and mining land managers and indigenous communities to improve collaborative fire management planning in the Fortescue River catchment. Funding for this project has been provided through NRM Rangelands Western Australia and Rio Tinto Iron Ore. Mr Palheiro is a forester and fire officer with eight years’ experience in planning and conducting prescribed burns and bushfire control in the vast pine forests and rangelands of Portugal. During the last…

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New orchid species add to WA plant diversity

New orchid species add to WA plant diversity

Seventeen new types of spider orchids have been discovered in Western Australia’s south-west region, Australia’s only internationally-recognised global biodiversity hotspot. Department of Parks and Wildlife herbarium curator Kevin Thiele said the new orchids were found in areas throughout the south-west from north of Geraldton to east of Esperance. He said the orchids had recently been formally named in a journal published by the WA Herbarium, highlighting the enormous variety of plant species known to exist in the region. “This is a significant achievement – it’s not every day 17 new types of spider orchids are named,” Dr Thiele said. The newly named spider orchids are all from the genus Caladenia and include 11 separate species and six subspecies. “There are now 158 identified spider orchids…

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Saving a critically endangered wattle using fire

Saving a critically endangered wattle using fire

Prescribed burning is being used to help the Department of Parks and Wildlife regenerate a critically endangered species of Western Australian wattle. Research scientist Leonie Monks said it was hoped a specialised program of prescribed burning would cause dormant seeds of the spiral-fruited wattle to germinate and grow new plants. “A translocation program for the spiral-fruited wattle, a plant which boasts golden flowers in June and July and grows in a dense mat up to 4.5m in diameter, has been underway since 1998,” Ms Monks said. “Prior to that there were just 51 plants known to exist in the wild. “We have now established three new populations of spiral-fruited wattle, with a combined total of 830 seedlings, in two nature reserves about 200km north of…

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