Looking after Warrumbungles brush-tailed rock-wallabies

NSW’s most westerly population of the endangered brush-tailed rock-wallaby, in Warrumbungle National Park will be further protected by a pest control program kicking off next week.

Brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) at Jenolan Caves

Senior Project Officer with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Adam Fawcett said the aerial baiting program is part of ongoing management efforts to reduce the impacts of foxes on brush-tailed rock-wallabies as part of the Saving our Species (SoS) program.

"Looking after the brush-tailed rock-wallaby population in the Warrumbungles has been ongoing for more than 20 years.

“While not impacted during the recent fires which hit other colonies across the state, the Warrumbungle population was heavily impacted by the Wambelong Fire in 2013.

“Monitoring conducted over the past 12 months using camera trap images has identified approximately 12 brush-tailed rock-wallabies across the two remaining colonies, including females with pouch young.

“This number gives us an idea of the minimum population and is considered to be an underestimate of the actual number of animals remaining, but shows why it’s incredibly important we do all that we can to protect the colonies.

"Aerial baiting is being used to reduce the populations of red foxes within the landscape, minimising one of the key threats to rock-wallabies. 

“Aerial baiting was introduced in 2018 to allow NPWS to target a broader area of the park around the remaining Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby colonies including areas that are difficult to access due to the mountainous terrain.

“Fox predation poses a serious threat to the survival of numerous other local native animal species and the benefits of fox control also extends across tenure to neighboring properties and farms.

“This work compliments targeted pest programs that have been implemented across the park to protect brush-tailed rock-wallaby colonies for several years. These include targeting feral goats competing for shelter and food.

“The aerial baiting program is being targeted within the northern parts of Warrumbungle National Park around and between the extant colonies of the brush-tailed rock-wallaby. The program is being undertaken in consultation with Central West Local Land Service and is expected to occur every 6 to 8 weeks from March through until early November,” Mr Fawcett said.

The Saving our Species program is the NSW Government's commitment to securing the future of the State's threatened plants and animals. To find out more, or to get involved with Saving our Species visit Help save our threatened species.

Images: Dropbox Warrumbungle brush-tailed rock-wallabies