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.)

Elephant seal has left Sorrento Beach

Elephant seal has left Sorrento Beach

The Department of Parks and Wildlife today advised that the elephant seal left Sorrento Beach late last night. It had been hauled out at Sorrento Beach for the last few days, but swam off into the ocean around 11pm last night. Parks and Wildlife Senior Officer Rick Dawson said though the seal had left the beach, it might haul out at other beaches along the metropolitan area in the coming days. “Department officers have done a search of surrounding beaches along the metropolitan coast but the seal has not been sighted.” Mr Dawson said the sub-adult male which weighs an estimated 2000kg had most likely spent a long period swimming in the water and hauled-out at Sorrento to rest on the beach. “If people sight…

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Elephant seal returns to Sorrento Beach

Elephant seal returns to Sorrento Beach

The elephant seal that has been resting at Sorrento Beach in the past few days has returned to shore after swimming out to sea in the early hours of this morning. The Department of Parks and Wildlife today advised that the seal returned at around 11am this morning. Department staff and Surf Life Saving volunteers have cordoned off an area around the seal to ensure public safety and allow the animal to rest without any interference. Parks and Wildlife Senior Officer Rick Dawson said the department was asking people not to use camera flash and torches within the vicinity of the seal after 10pm at night. “We have noticed that the seal does not react well to bright lights at night as it is possibly…

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Goldfields’ big wet propels bird research

Goldfields’ big wet propels bird research

Thousands of banded stilts (a small nomadic wading bird) have abandoned wetlands around the WA coast and flocked to Lake Ballard in the Goldfields, about 150km north of Kalgoorlie, after heavy downpours in the region resulted in some areas receiving their entire annual rainfall in just a few days. Department of Parks and Wildlife Goldfields regional manager Ian Kealley said the recent rains had created a rare opportunity for researchers to tag the stilts with satellite trackers to monitor their breeding patterns. “We recently assisted researchers from Deakin University on a flyover of Lake Ballard and this revealed thousands of stilts, many of which are nesting,” he said. “In the past few weeks 12 adult stilts have been fitted with trackers as part of ongoing…

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New crocodile trap in Dampier Creek, Broome

New crocodile trap in Dampier Creek, Broome

A new, semi-permanent crocodile trap laid in Dampier Creek will assist the Department of Parks and Wildlife to better manage estuarine crocodiles in Broome. Measuring 5m long, 1.2m wide and 0.75m high, the aluminium trap has an inspection hatch allowing Parks and Wildlife staff and Yawuru rangers to attach snout ropes to an ensnared crocodile before the trap is opened. Parks and Wildlife senior operations officer David Woods said the trap was fabricated in Broome from a design used extensively in the Northern Territory. “This is a tried and tested design that has been used to trap crocodiles in Darwin harbour for a number of years,” Mr Woods said. “It is more practical than having to tow a cage five kilometres into position every time…

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Public urged to stay away from elephant seal at Sorrento Beach

Public urged to stay away from elephant seal at Sorrento Beach

The Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW) is urging people to stay away from a southern elephant seal that came ashore at Sorrento Beach in Perth’s northern suburbs today. Parks and Wildlife officer Matt Swan said the sub-adult male which weighs an estimated 2000kg had most likely spent a long period hunting in the water and was using a haul-out period to rest on the beach. “We are asking beach-goers not to approach the seal and to keep their dogs on leads as seals’ behaviour can be very unpredictable,” Mr Swan said. “If it is harassed by people trying to get too close, it may feel threatened and react aggressively. “Seals can inflict a nasty bite similar to that of a large dog so it…

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