Phascogale in the agricultural landscape of the southern WA wheatbelt -
distribution and conservation
We have been working with the Wagin
Woodanilling Landcare Zone to assess the distribution and status of
Red-tailed Phascogale in the south-western wheatbelt between Narrogin in
the north and Katanning in the south.
We particularly targeted
areas of remnant vegetation remaining on farms or otherwise outside the
formal conservation estate. We were
hoping to provide landholders with a greater sense of the value of their
remnant vegetation and to encourage them to improve the management of their
remnants for nature conservation.
We have assessed presence / absence of
Phascogale in over 100 farm remnants over the past 4 years and greatly
clarified their present range (56% of remnants had Phascogale). Phascogale
appear to be relatively common in a localised area of the wheatbelt
focussed largely on areas of wandoo and rock sheoak habitat, but now occur
irregularly beyond this habitat.
This survey work has led to substantial on-ground work to benefit
phascogale. This includes the
protection of > 395 hectares of remnant vegetation by over 20
kilometres of new fencing and the planting of over 11,000 native seedlings
to create or enhance corridors for the movement of Phascogale.
In addition to trapping surveys, our knowledge
of the distribution of phascogale throughout southern WA is being
supplemented by a community atlas scheme co-ordinated by the Wagin
Woodanilling Landcare Zone, where community members are being encouraged to
report their sightings. A sightings form is available as
a pdf. This work is being extended
to the central wheatbelt as part of the project to reintroduce phascogale
back to Wadderin Sanctuary at Narembeen.
Clients: Wagin-Woodanilling Landcare Zone with funding from
South West Catchments Council (SWCC) for survey within the SWCC region; Exetel for areas in the Wheatbelt NRM