Threatened species

Last updated: Thursday 19 May, 2016

Bush Heritage Australia’s reserves and partnership properties support over 200 threatened species. Our conservation actions to protect threatened species are underpinned by research into species-specific requirements for survival and breeding.

To protect threatened species, it's often not enough to just manage threats, such as weeds, feral animals and habitat loss or degradation. We often need to implement species-specific actions based on ecology of the threatened species at risk.

Red-finned blue-eyeRed-finned blue-eye at Edgbaston Reserve, Qld. Photo by Dr Adam Kerezsy

We have knowledge gaps in many threatened species’ life-history traits, ecological interactions, vulnerability to threats (including climate change) and appropriate management responses – all of which require focused research.

Bush Heritage led or supported research has contributed to a range of threatened species management and recovery successes, including:

Bush Heritage will take a leading role in relevant threatened species recovery teams and increase our focus on re-introduction and translocation of threatened species onto our reserves and partner properties. To facilitate the latter, we'll undertake a feasibility study of potential re-introductions and develop a re-introduction strategy.

This research theme will address questions such as:

  • What are the critical threatening processes for threatened species?
  • What are the key requirements and barriers to successful re-introduction?
  • What are the most effective means of abating threats and increasing viability of threatened species?

Case study: Re-introducing the nationally vulnerable red-tailed phascogale into Kojonup Reserve

Angela at Kojonup ReserveAngela Sander with red-tailed phascogale at Kojonup Reserve, WA. Photo by Geoff Corrick

Bush Heritage Australia’s first translocation of a threatened mammal – the tiny red-tailed phascogale – into the largest protected area of wandoo woodland in Western Australia’s Kojonup region has boosted the prospects of long-term survival of this tiny tree-leaping marsupial.

Once widespread across much of Western Australia and semi-arid southern Australia, Bush Heritage partnered with Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife to reduce the threat of extinction for the phascogale.

In two phases, from 2010 to 2012, 30 phascogales were translocated onto Kojonup Reserve using wool-lined nest boxes to augment natural hollows used for nesting and breeding. Bush Heritage’s long-term feral predator and rabbit control program at Kojonup Reserve has protected them from predators and maintained habitat quality. 

Four years on, the phascogales are breeding and continuing to use the nest boxes extensively, with 30 new nest boxes ready to be added by Bush Heritage to a more extensive area – to encourage the population to grow.

Key projects

Re-introducing the nationally vulnerable red-tailed phascogale into Kojonup Reserve.

In partnership with Western Australia Department of Parks and Wildlife, Bush Heritage has established a population of phascogales on Kojonup Reserve in Western Australia, through wild-to-wild translocation, provision of nest-boxes and ongoing feral animal control and fire management.

Swift parrot. Photo Graeme Chapman.Swift parrot. Photo Graeme Chapman.

Recovery of one of the world’s most endangered species, the red-finned blue-eye fish, at Edgbaston Reserve.

A multi-faceted project, being led by Bush Heritage, to develop techniques to eradicate and then quarantine springs from invasive fish, enabling new populations of red-finned blue-eye to be established through relocation.

Recovery and supplementation of threatened Victorian orchids.

Bush Heritage is working with Julie Whitfield from Amaryllis Environmental to monitor and increase the populations of rare and threatened orchids such as the robust greenhood and Stuart Mill spider-orchid on Nardoo Hills and JC Griffin reserves.

Searching for the elusive marsupial mole.

In partnership with Joe Benshemesh from La Trobe University and the Birriliburu rangers, we are undertaking surveys in the Little Sandy Desert for one of the most elusive and reclusive of creatures, the northern marsupial mole.

Malleefowl nest mound discovery and monitoring.

Long-term partnership with the Northern Malleefowl Protection Group to search for malleefowl mounds and conduct annual monitoring of mound activity at Eurardy and Charles Darwin reserves, Western Australia.

Establishing a new population of the vulnerable striped legless lizard on Scottsdale Reserve.

Working with Brett Howland from ANU, we are salvaging individuals from a development site and relocating them to grassland on Scottsdale Reserve.

Re-introduction of threatened mammals onto Bush Heritage properties.

Building on an existing partnership with Arid Recovery developed through the South Australian Rangelands Alliance, we will seek to release threatened critical weight range mammals onto Bon Bon and Boolcoomatta reserves.

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