WA Rangelands Conservation Report

on 25 Jun 2014 

This CSIRO report is written at an important time for the future of the Pilbara’s biodiversity.  As development in the region booms, new pressures have arisen that may impact biota in negative ways.  Information provided by participants at our workshop predicts that existing and new threats may cause 25% of the Pilbara’s conservation significant species to become functionally extinct in the next 20 years without effective threat management.

At the same time, development brings opportunities to protect the Pilbara’s biodiversity in the form of increased survey effort, public and government scrutiny and potentially increased investment in land management across the region. 

According to the CSIRO analysis, the most cost-effective strategy to protect the threatened species of the Pilbara was to manage feral ungulates through a program of coordinated aerial shooting and exclusion fencing around key conservation assets. The next most cost-effective strategy was to establish predator-free wildlife sanctuaries, while the third most cost-effective strategy was to control cat predation around key wildlife assets with an ongoing program of targeted baiting, shooting and trapping.  

Each of the top three ranked strategies could be implemented for an average annual estimated cost of less than $1 million/year over 20 years, and this would benefit almost all 53 species to some extent.