Perth Zoo is preparing to release 11 numbats into the wild, in a conservation coup for Western Australia’s native fauna emblem.
Eight of the marsupials have been fitted with radio collars to allow scientists to gather valuable data and monitor their progress.
The juveniles will be relocated into protected habitat at Mallee Cliffs National Park in New South Wales. It’s the largest predator-free safe haven on mainland Australia, giving the numbats the best chance of survival.
Seven males and three females were born at Perth Zoo as part of a collaborative breading program. Another female was captured in the wild. It’s the second group to be released at the Australian Wildlife Conservancy managed site.
The endangered animals will leave Perth Zoo on Monday and will be flown to Adelaide, before being driven to their new home.
It is estimated only 1,000 numbats remain in our South-West, with populations threatened by predators and habitat loss. More than 280 zoo-born numbats have been released into the wild throughout WA, New South Wales and South Australia since 1993.
As stated by Environment Minister Reece Whitby:
“Perth Zoo is the only zoo in the world that breeds numbats, making this collaborative program crucial to the survival of the species.
“I look forward to hearing about the progress of these marsupials at their predator-free home, as we work towards securing their future.
“I’d like to thank the dedicated teams at Perth Zoo and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for their hard work to conserve WA’s native fauna emblem.”