Numbat translocation proving successful - producing babies
- Mt Gibson | Scotia
- Field Programs
- Wildlife translocations | Science: surveys and research
- Numbat | Greater Bilby | Greater Stick-nest Rat | Banded Hare-wallaby | Woylie | Western Barred Bandicoot | Shark Bay Mouse
Up to 13 new baby Numbats have been confirmed at AWC’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary after ecologists sighted pouch young during trapping of ten adult Numbats to undertake routine health checks.
April 2017: The finding is significant as they are the first Numbats born at Mt Gibson after the species was reintroduced in 2016. It provides a good indication that translocated Numbats have adapted and feel safe and comfortable within their new feral free environment – away from predators such as feral cats, which elsewhere are having a catastrophic impact on Numbat populations.
It is also important because the baby Numbats are a genetic mix of individuals that were introduced to Mt Gibson from Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary and Perth Zoo, providing a solid foundation to build a robust population. The only males of breeding age (above 2 years of age) were from Scotia and two of the females from Perth Zoo.
The Numbat young will be deposited by their mothers into nest hollows around late July and the young will normally emerge around September.
The recent Numbat trapping and health checks also showed the animals had undergone weight gains (15% average weight gain) which is another positive sign.
The Numbats were weighed as part of routine health checks, before being released back into their nest hollows.
The current global Numbat population is estimated at less than 1000 mature individuals. Confirmation of breeding and healthy weight gains at Mt Gibson is good news for the survival of the species. AWC hopes to build a population of over 200 Numbats at the sanctuary, which will represent a more than 20% increase in the world Numbat population.
See ABC’s report on the discovery here: Numbat population grows after WA breeding program.
AWC is reintroducing nine of Australia’s most endangered species as part of the Mt Gibson Endangered Wildlife Restoration Project.