How a CQ National Park saved this cuddly creature from extinction

The population of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies has doubled in five years.
The population of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies has doubled in five years. Contributed

A WALLABY believed to be extinct for four decades is now thriving in Taunton National Park in Central Queensland.

The population of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies in the park has doubled in five years, thanks to a joint project between the Palaszczuk Government, Fitzroy Basin Association Inc and partners.

National Parks Minister Steven Miles said the project's focus was on protecting 130,000 hectares of the wallaby's habitat from predators.

"We've seen the population of Bridled Nailtail wallabies double in size to around 223, thanks largely to feral animal control,” Mr Miles said.

"Pest animals are the biggest threat facing this endangered species.

"That's why activities such as the 1080-baiting program for dogs and foxes, and intensive feral cat management are so crucial.

The population of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies has doubled in five years.
The population of Bridled Nailtail Wallabies has doubled in five years. Contributed

"Queensland Parks and Wildlife staff also conduct an annual census of the wallaby population to ensure numbers remain healthy.

"As part of this census, the bridled nailtail wallabies are safely trapped and microchipped.

"Taken together, these conservation efforts have made a significant difference. It's really encouraging to see the wallabies flourish in a relatively short space of time.”

A population of bridled nailtail wallabies is also being established at Avocet Nature Refuge near Emerald, thanks to translocation. There is a stable population of around 100 wallabies, and with continued predator control, the numbers are expected to increase.

The Queensland Government has committed local rangers, regional project coordinators, and flora and fauna ecologists to the project, while $1.15m from the Commonwealth Biodiversity Fund has been committed.

FBA Operations Manager, Tom Coughlin, said a lot of work has been done to increase and protect the extent of nailtail-friendly habitats.

"Central Queensland is extraordinarily lucky to host the only wild population of this species in the world, and so protecting it is of the greatest importance,” Mr Coughlin said.

"This species has, quite literally, been saved from beyond the brink of extinction.

"FBA will continue to play an active role in the survival of the bridled nailtail wallaby, including the offer of ongoing support to landholders who help protect them.”

Topics:  central queensland extinction national park wallaby wildlife

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