Extinction came close twice late last century for Western Australia’s faunal emblem, the numbat. Now this still endangered and enchanting little marsupial is slowly making a comeback, even to parts of eastern Australia where it hasn’t been seen for many decades.
How a few blokes decided to try and save the Numbat: Rob McLean
Robert McLean is an unlikely conservationist. Throughout the week he drives a meat truck and is a bloke who enjoys a steak and a beer. But most weekends he’s out in the Dryandra Woodland conservation area, 170km south-east of Perth, trying to save one of Australia’s most endangered species – the numbat – from extinction. There are less than 1000 mature individuals remaining. Together with three other unlikely conservationists – airline worker Sean Van Alphen, power-company employee Matthew Willett, and John Lawson, caretaker of the Lions Dryandra Woodland Village and a former stonemason – he founded The Numbat Task Force.
This Episode of Talking Australia is hosted by Angela Heathcote (Digital Producer at Australian Geographic) and produced by Ben Kanthak (www.beachshackpodcasts.com).
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There are less than 1000 numbats left alive on the planet, including those in enclosed reserves and zoos. One of the main areas were they are found is the Dryandra woodland in WA’s southern wheatbelt. To donate and help save the numbat look for the AG Society numbat fundraiser in issue 130.
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