Endangered species in the spotlight for national day

Picture: Alex Asbury, Alex Cearns/Perth Zoo.
Picture: Alex Asbury, Alex Cearns/Perth Zoo.

A NUMBER of rare Australian animals will be in the spotlight tomorrow as Perth Zoo commemorates National Threatened Species Day.

Perth Zoo’s partnership with the Parks and Wildlife Service for the breeding program has led to successful releases of endangered and critically endangered native species including numbats, dibblers, Western Swamp tortoises and two tiny frog species.

The biggest wild release of Western Swamp tortoises last month also marked the 800th Western Swamp tortoise hatched at the zoo to be released.

A Numbat joey. Picture: Alex Asbury/Perth Zoo.

The native species breeding program includes numbats and dibblers, animals threatened by loss of habitat and introduced predators.

Dibblers, a tiny carnivorous marsupial, were though to be extinct for more than 50 years until a chance rediscovery in 1967.

The numbat is also critically endangered as there are less than 1000 of them remaining in the wild.

More than 240 numbats and more than 800 dibblers have been bred at Perth Zoo and released into the wild.

Picture: Alex Cearns/Perth Zoo

Australia is home for more than 200 frog species but numbers have been radically decreasing in the past 30 years.

The White-bellied and Orange-bellied frogs are also part of the rearing and breeding programs at Perth Zoo, which include collecting egg-nests in the wild and rearing them in protected environments.

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