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.)

Secrets of the eucalypt genetic code unlocked

Secrets of the eucalypt genetic code unlocked

Scientists have sequenced the genetic code of the eucalypt for the first time, providing fresh insights into the Australian icon that is the foundation of many environments and has become the world’s favourite hardwood. Australian researchers from the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, University of Tasmania, University of Melbourne, Australian National University, Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries and University of the Sunshine Coast collaborated with 30 institutions in nine countries to sequence and analyse the genome of the Flooded Gum (Eucalyptus grandis). There are over 700 species of Eucalyptus growing across a wide range of environments, from the wet tropics, to alpine shrublands, to the arid interior. Dr Margaret Byrne from Parks and Wildlife was a co-author on the paper published…

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Humpback mother and calf

Great whale migration begins

The annual humpback whale migration along the Western Australian coast is underway following an early and busy start to the season. The Department of Parks and Wildlife recorded five whale carcasses between Albany and Coral Bay early in the season with the most recent one coming ashore in a remote area of the south-west near Bunbury this week. In an unusual event last month, the head of a sperm whale washed ashore at Perth’s Sorrento Beach. Senior marine wildlife officer Doug Coughran said whale sightings off Perth would increase over the next few months as 30,000 humpback whales travelled from Antarctic waters to calving grounds in the Kimberley. “Humpback and southern right whales are mostly commonly seen migrating along the coast. While humpbacks typically come…

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Statement from Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife

Statement from Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife

Jim Sharp, Director General, Department of Parks and Wildlife, has paid tribute to long-serving staff member Ian ‘Jock’ Marshall who tragically died yesterday in a vehicle rollover east of Manjimup. “On behalf of the department, I would like to offer my condolences to Jock’s wife Inez, their sons Robert and Colin and their families,” Mr Sharp said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very sad time. “Jock was a much loved and respected colleague who had worked in the department’s Donnelly District for 46 years. “Jock began his career with the department in January 1968 as a conservation employee at Tone River settlement east of Manjimup and worked his way up to overseer in 1975. In 1989 he relinquished his overseer position…

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Sperm whale head successfully removed from Perth beach

Sperm whale head successfully removed from Perth beach

The Department of Parks and Wildlife has successfully removed the 3m head of a sperm whale carcass found on a beach yesterday in Sorrento in Perth’s northern suburbs. Parks and Wildlife Senior Marine Ranger Vaughn Chapple said heavy machinery had been used to remove the head, which weighed around five tonnes and was in an area that was difficult to access. “It was a complex and challenging operation due to the location as the whale head had to be moved by excavator up a 15m long 40 degree embankment,” he said. “Overall since the removal operation began this morning, it has taken five hours to remove the whale head, which is generally a third of the size of the entire whale’s body.” Mr Chapple said…

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Cane toads found in plants consignment

Cane toads found in plants consignment

Nine Kununurra cane toads have been found in a consignment of mango plants at a freight company’s Perth depot. Department of Parks and Wildlife officers yesterday (NB: Monday 26 May) retrieved seven live and two dead cane toads from a Toll Express truck, along with six northern green tree frogs and two other as yet unidentified native frogs. Wildlife officer Teagan Johnston said it was the largest number of cane toads to reach Perth in a single incident. “There were male and female toads hidden within the plants and if they had escaped from the truck and found a water source, it is possible they may have begun breeding,” Ms Johnston said. She said the vigilance of the freight company was to be commended. “We…

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