Dibblers to be reintroduced to WA island

Picture: Perth Zoo/AAP
Picture: Perth Zoo/AAP

DIRK Hartog Island National Park in Western Australia will soon host 24 dibblers for the first time in centuries since the marsupial became extinct from the area.

More than 20 dibbler joeys will be released on the island, which last year became the world’s largest island to have cats, sheep and goats fully eradicated.

The dibblers will be microchipped, while 12 will be fitted with radio collars for researchers to track their movements and identify habitat preferences, which will help guide future conservation efforts.

Cliffs in Dirk Hartog Island. Photo: DPAW.gov.au

The 24 joeys were born at Perth Zoo from three adult dibblers collected at Jurien Bay islands earlier this year.

Since 1997, more than 900 dibblers have been bred and released into the wild.

The dibbler was once found as far north as Shark Bay in WA, including Dirk Hartog Island.

They are one of 10 native species lost from the area following European settlement and the introduction of sheep, goats and cats.

“The additional release of dibblers at Dirk Hartog Island will help the habitat return to what it once was in 1616 and offers security to a species that would have struggled to survive,” Environment Minister Stephen Dawson said on Tuesday.

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