12048: Conserving threatened wildlife at Heirisson Prong

    Heirisson Prong has been maintained as a fox- and cat-free area by the Useless Loop community for the past 22 years.

    Work on Heirisson Prong has pioneered the successful reintroduction of native mammals into the arid zone and has been a long-standing example of the involvement of remote communities in wildlife conservation.

    Burrowing bettongs were reintroduced to the site in 1992 and are still present, with a population of between 480 and 520 individuals. Western barred bandicoots and Greater stick-nest rats were also introduced in the 90's but no longer persist following incursions by feral cats that proved difficult to control.

    The successful ongoing persistence of Burrowing bettongs at the prong requires the maintenance of a 2.9 kilometre barrier fence that extends across a narrow peninsula from one coast to another to exclude foxes and cats from an area of 1200 hectares.

    This project will:

    • Upgrade 600 m of the barrier fence that crosses the tidal flat by adding an additional stainless steel support wire, replacing existing wire netting with 1.8 m high PVC covered chain wire, and replacing the current wire overhang with plastic netting.
    • Replace a 1200 m portion of the overhang on the mainland fence subject to metal fatigue.
    • Continue to monitor the population of Burrowing bettong by comprehensive trapping surveys at 3-4 month intervals to maintain the 20-year record of changing numbers over time.
    • Continue to foster community involvement in the conservation objectives of the project by promoting community talks, events, and involvement by the local primary school.
    Investment: $ 34 000
    Delivery organisation: Useless Loop community Biosphere Project Group Inc.
    Project duration: January 2013 - December 2013
    Location: Heirisson Prong, Shark Bay

    More information

    General information on the project is provided on the Wildlife Research and Management Pty Ltd website

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