Urgent work to protect animals such as the critically endangered western ground parrot are among the priority Western Australian Government projects being supported by the Morrison Government's initial $50 million wildlife and habitat recovery package.
The Federal Government's Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel has worked with the Western Australian Government to confirm key recovery priorities with the Commonwealth delivering $1 million in initial financial support for:
- On-ground surveys and rapid assessment of threatened species.
- Additional acoustic recording units and intensive monitoring of western ground parrot.
- Protection of regenerating habitat though fencing, watering and feral animal, invertebrate pest and weed control.
- Seed collection and establishment of seed production areas for threatened plants in the Stirling Ranges.
- Development of critical care response capacity at Perth Zoo for fire-affected threatened species.
The funding will support the Western Australian Government's Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) to undertake immediate threat management actions in Cape Arid National Park and Stirling Range National Park. DBCA have partnered with South Coast NRM, Friends of the Western Ground Parrot and Birdlife Australia to deliver the on-ground works.
Many threatened and endemic fauna and flora species in Western Australia have suffered significantly from bushfires. The western ground parrot, which numbers less than 150 birds in the wild has been ranked on a national provisional list as the top priority bird for urgent management intervention to avoid extinction.
Western Australian Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said he welcomed the opportunity to work together with the Australian Government to respond to the impacts of bushfires on wildlife.
"The last remaining population of western ground parrots is known to occur in Cape Arid National Park and the adjacent Nuytsland Nature Reserve on the south coast of Western Australia, which have been significantly impacted by fires," Mr Dawson said.
"It's important we protect Western Australia's most vulnerable species, like the western ground parrot, and we appreciate the support of the Australian Government in our efforts to safeguard their future."
The Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has published a provisional list of 113 animal species as the highest priorities for action to support recovery from the 2019–20 bushfires.
The list is available at https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/bushfire-recovery/research-and-resources.