Rock wallabies airlifted to new home

By AG Staff Writer May 11, 2016
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Yesterday, 23 threatened back-flanked rock wallabies were relocated by plane to a new home in Western Australia.

ON TUESDAY, 23 threatened black-flanked rock wallabies were airlifted from reserves in Western Australia’s central wheatbelt to Kalbarri National Park, north of Perth.

The gorges of Kalbarri were once a haven for the wallabies, but over the past 20 years their numbers have been reduced by the introduction of foxes and cats.

Meanwhile, successful conservation efforts in WA’s wheatbelt region have resulted in healthy populations there, from which the plan is to re-establish a colony in Kalbarri.

wallaby airlift

WWF-Australia and DPAW staff loading the rock-wallabies to be airlifted to Kalbarri NP. (Image: WWF-Aus / Karen Kalpage)

“A successful program to reduce foxes, cats and goats in Kalbarri National Park allows us to safely establish a new colony of black-flanked rock-wallabies in the park,” explained WWF spokesperson Merril Halley.

The 23 wallabies were processed and monitored overnight at a farmhouse in Mt Caroline, and then transported by car to Kellerberrin before being flown to Kalbarri National Park.

“Wallabies are quite sensitive and would not have reacted well to a seven-hour drive from the wheatbelt to their new home, so it was much better to fly them there instead,” said Merril. 

The relocation program was undertaken by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, in partnership with WWF-Australia.