Western Australia’s native species conservation program Western Shield iscelebrating 25 years of helping threatened species.

Operating across 3.8 million hectares, the Department of Biodiversity,Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) program has directly benefited over 30focal native species including the numbat, quokka, chuditch, and western brushwallaby.

Amber-Jade Sanderson, WA Environment Minister, said introduced foxes and catsremain the single biggest threat to the survival and persistence of ourvulnerable native animals.

“Over 25 years, as one of the largest conservation programs in Australia,Western Shield has achieved remarkable success in managing feral predatorssuch as foxes and cats.”

Research has shown that feral cats kill over 1.5 billion native animals inAustralia each year, and one of the best ways to ensure the survival of nativespecies is to control introduced predators.

“Science is key to the program’s success, with DBCA researchers developing andtesting the management methods used to control introduced predators. Decadesof scientific effort have refined tools that are proving effective atcontrolling foxes and feral cats in a range of different environments acrossWA.”

Foxes are another introduced predator that preys on native species, and inareas where fox management occurs there has been a threefold increase innative animal numbers while also reducing fox density by up to 80 per cent inthe State’s South-West.

The program is run with support from partners including Alcoa of Australia,Tronox, Western Areas Limited, South 32 Worsley Alumina, Newmont BoddingtonGold, Commonwealth Department of Defence and Ventia.

Volunteers are also able to get involved through Western Shield’s Zooniversecamera watch project, which allows people to identify and classify animalsfrom images taken by remote cameras that are located in national parks andconservation areas around WA.

Tagged: Feral Cats, Native Wildlife, Western Shield

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