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.)

Rare rockhopper penguin visitors head home to the Sub-Antarctic

Rare rockhopper penguin visitors head home to the Sub-Antarctic

Four northern rockhopper penguins have been released in waters off Augusta, after surprising wildlife officers and beach goers with a visit to the South West. The threatened species usually live on islands close to Antarctica, more than three thousand kilometres south-west of Western Australia. While there are no resident populations on the mainland or inshore islands of Australia, Pia Courtis from the Parks and Wildlife Service said northern rockhopper penguins have been recorded visiting our beaches during the summer months. “They are usually looking for refuge during their three-week annual moult period, during which time they are unable to enter the water and usually do not feed,” Ms Courtis said. In the past year, 10 rockhopper penguins have been found on beaches between Jurien Bay…

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10-year plan for Wheatbelt's parks and reserves released

10-year plan for Wheatbelt's parks and reserves released

Public comment is being sought on a new 10-year management plan proposed for more than a million hectares of parks and reserves in the Wheatbelt region. The proposed plan covers 728 existing reserves of natural vegetation and is bounded by Dalwallinu, Cranbrook, Ongerup, York, Wandering, Darkan, Yellowdine and Lake King. The reserves include valuable conservation areas such as Dryandra Woodland which is home to Western Australia’s mammal emblem, the numbat. Almost half of the reserves are less than 100 hectares. The two largest reserves, Karroun Hill and Jilbadji nature reserves within the Great Western Woodlands, together make up more than half a million hectares. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions has prepared the proposed management plan on behalf of the Conservation and Parks Commission.…

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A western ground parrot with a GPS collar in Cape Arid National Park. Photo - Alan Danks

Conservation efforts intensify for WA’s rarest bird

Efforts are continuing to protect the western ground parrot, following a bushfire that burnt through some of the critically endangered birds' habitat this month. Lightning strikes on January 13 caused a bushfire in Cape Arid National Park on the south coast, which burnt 6,300 hectares. Western ground parrots only exist in the wild in Cape Arid National Park and the adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve. In spring 2018, five parrots were caught in Cape Arid National Park - fitted with GPS collars - and returned to the wild so their movements could be studied as part of a recovery program led by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). A ground search by DBCA last week located one of these five birds alive, and signals…

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South West residents commended for response to weed alert

South West residents commended for response to weed alert

The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development has welcomed the support of South West residents in joining the search for a new invasive weed. The department issued an alert in December for residents to look out for pokeweed (Phytolacca Americana) and report any sightings after it was found in the Balingup area. Pokeweed is an agricultural and environmental weed, and is toxic to livestock and people. Department invasive species manager Kay Bailey said the department had received more than 20 reports by landowners and residents. “All reports have been investigated and 16 reports have been confirmed as pokeweed, which have been treated,” Ms Bailey said. “The landowners involved and the general community have been very helpful and pro-active. “Willingness to look for, report and…

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New walk trail open in Wellington National Park

New walk trail open in Wellington National Park

A new world-class walk trail has been opened in Wellington National Park, near Collie, as part of the McGowan Government's commitment to improve visitor facilities in the Collie-Preston area. The new 20 kilometre Wiilman Bilya Trail stretches from Wellington Dam north to the Coalfields Highway, winding through magnificent blackbutt, open jarrah forest and past granite outcrops. Bushwalkers can expect a full day walk in either direction, with the option to camp overnight at Nyingarn campsite or at Potters Gorge. The name Wiilman Bilya pays tribute to the traditional Noongar group, Wiilman, with Bilya being the Noongar word for river. The Wiilman people have a strong cultural connection to this area. The $320,000 walk trail was funded by the State Government through the Department of Biodiversity,…

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