Julimar State Forest home to thriving chuditch population

A woylie being released. Picture: DBCA
A chuditch being set free. Picture: Robert Audcent
A woylie being released. Picture: DBCA A chuditch being set free. Picture: Robert Audcent

MONITORING at Julimar State Forest has confirmed the site is home to one of the healthiest known chuditch populations in WA.

Native animal monitoring and 1080 fox baiting has been undertaken at Julimar since 1992, delivered by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions’ (DBCA) flagship fauna recovery program Western Shield.

DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service officer Rebecca Kay said the chuditch is a threatened native species and is vulnerable to predation by the feral European red fox.

Ms Kay said the number of chuditch captured during annual monitoring in July showed that fox baiting in the area was having a positive effect on native animals.

“The recent fauna trapping undertaken by staff from the Perth Hills district at Julimar State Forest resulted in the capture and release of 36 chuditch, many of which were new juvenile recruits and females with pouch young,” she said.

Due to the strength of the chuditch population at Julimar, the site was recently used as a source for animals that were sent to the Flinders Ranges in South Australia to establish a new population in their former habitat.

The chuditch was once found throughout most of the southern half of mainland Australia.

With the exception of the translocated population in South Australia, the chuditch is now confined to the south-west of WA with the largest populations surviving in the northern and southern jarrah forests.

Ms Kay said brushtail possums and a woylie, which hasn’t been trapped at the site for four years, were also trapped during the week.

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