Lone chuditch in parkland near Serpentine excites rangers


The captured chuditch.
The captured chuditch.

LIFE is looking up for the vulnerable chuditch.

The threatened species has been caught in Lowlands Nature Reserve near Serpentine for the first time in 20 years.

A male chuditch was trapped and released in the reserve last month by Department of Parks and Wildlife rangers while holding native animal monitoring.

DPaW said the sighting and capture was a good sign that chuditches were either persisting in the nature reserve or dispersing from the Perth Hills and using the bushland corridor associated with the Serpentine River.

The capture followed a sighting of a chuditch from a remote camera in late April, which was the first sighting of the species in the reserve since 2000.

It is all part of a fauna monitoring program at the reserve to track the number of native mammal species, including quenda, brushtail possums and rakali, and check the effect of actions such as fox-baiting.

Swan Coastal district manager Brett Fitzgerald said the capture highlighted the positive benefits of fox-baiting on native animal conservation.

“Under the Western Shield program, the department carries out fox and feral cat baiting on a network of sites across the state to control and reduce feral animal predation,” Mr Fitzgerald said.

“More than 1200 hectares has been baited at Lowlands Nature Reserve in the past three years to protect threatened species, including the chuditch.”

A spokeswoman for DPaW said the public could assist in the conservation of native wildlife by preventing pets from accessing bushland and reporting sightings of priority species to the department.

Locals should also ensure drop nets are used on public waterways rather than illegal opera house traps, which can cause the unnecessary deaths of species such as rakali and freshwater turtles.

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