Perth Zoo-born numbats to be released into Australian Wildlife Conservancy Mt Gibson Sanctuary

Perth Zoo-born numbats to be released into Australian Wildlife Conservancy Mt Gibson Sanctuary

TEN numbats born this year at Perth Zoo will be released into Mt Gibson sanctuary this week as part of the only breeding program in the world for the endangered species.

The eleven-month-old numbats, born under the collaborative program between Perth Zoo and Parks and Wildlife Service, were released into the wild within Australia’s second largest feral cat-free area.

Perth Zoo Keeper Jessica Morrison said it was particularly exciting as Perth Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Action fundraising program helped fund the important predator proof fence at the sanctuary.

“The removal of feral cats and foxes is key to the survival of the numbat which have been decimated by introduced predators; only about 1000 remain in the wild,” she said.

In preparation for their release, the numbats were fitted with radio collars by Parks and Wildlife Service’s Dr Tony Friend.

“Radio tracking will enable researchers to learn more about the numbats’ movements and enable field staff to determine if female numbats have reproduced at the completion of the mating season,” he said.

The first successful breeding at Perth Zoo was in 1993 and since then more than 200 individuals have been released to the wild which has helped re-establish four populations of numbats within their former range.

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