Wildlife translocations at Faure Island

Wildlife translocations at Faure Island

Since 2002, five species of threatened mammals have been reintroduced to Faure Island in 16 different translocation events.

Healthy wild populations of four species now occur on Faure Island.  The population of the Burrowing Bettong (Boodie) is estimated at more than 5,000 animals.  For each of the Banded Hare-wallaby, Western Barred Bandicoot and Shark Bay Mice, AWC estimates the population to be several hundred animals.  However, our confidence in the estimates for these three species is limited because the trap-happy Boodies make it hard to capture any other species during our regular surveys.

The fifth species reintroduced to Faure Island was the Greater Stick-nest Rat.  Unfortunately, Greater Stick-nest Rats have not been recorded in several years.  Numbers are either too low to detect or the reintroduction has failed.  If it has failed, the likely cause is predation from raptors or owls.  AWC plans to release additional Greater Stick-nest Rats using a modified release protocol.

The successful restocking of Faure Island is significant because, after over 100 years operating as pastoral property stocked with sheep and goats, there were no native mammals left on Faure Island, other than the Northern Freetail Bat, when AWC acquired the property in 1999.  Soon after acquisition, AWC conducted a comprehensive fauna survey including an analysis of sub-fossil remains.  There was evidence of prior occupation by Echidnas, Pale Field Rats and Brush-tailed Bettongs on Faure, as well as Western Barred Bandicoots and Shark Bay Mice.  While no subfossil evidence of Boodies or Banded Hare-wallabies was identified, these animals were found in other parts of the Shark Bay region and are likely to have previously existed on Faure.