15207: Restoring ecological health to AWC's Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary

    The Austalian Wildlife Conservancy's (AWC) Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary covers 2,000 ha in the Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion of Western Australia. Located immediately upstream of Walyunga National Park on the northern outskirts of Perth, it extends 14km north-east along the banks of the Avon River to the Avon Valley National Park. As such, it provides a critical wildlife corridor between these two national parks.  The property supports viable, reintroduced populations of Tammar Wallabies (Notamacropus eugenii) and Black-footed Rock-wallabies (Petrogale lateralis) (two species previously listed as regionally extinct), as well as populations of Chuditch or Western Quolls (Dasyurus geoffroii) and other threatened species which require ongoing protection.  Paruna also supports eucalypt forest and woodland habitats, along with heathlands and shrublands. Since European settlement, fire patterns in the region have changed significantly and are now dominated by extensive wildfires in the hot summer months. These wildfires present a significant threat to Paruna's endangered wildlife and plant communities. In addition, erosion caused by frequent fires, grazing and logging in the past, as well as the spread of weeds, threaten to degrade critical habitat and therefore the long-term survival of Paruna's endangered wildlife populations.

    AWC seeks support to restore ecological health to Paruna through the following priority actions: Implement the third year of AWC's prescribed burning program which involves completing the buffer along the southern boundary and extending the burnt area eastwards. AWC's fire strategy also aims to protect key infrastructure and reduce the potential impacts of wildfire on the spread of weeds. Weed density will also be managed through ongoing eradication efforts of manually pulling weeds and treatment with herbicide. Erosion control, whilst assisting with sanctuary management, also assists by mitigating and reducing the ability for weeds to spread. Erosion management will be through the maintenance and installation of drains, water tables, and run offs.The wallaby populations will be protected through ongoing, intensive feral animal control - including shooting, baiting and trapping (specifically targeting feral predators, but also controlling feral herbivores such as pigs and goats).

    Investment: $ 15 000
    In-kind contribution: $ 55 800
    Delivery organisation: Australian Wildlife Conservancy
    Project duration: March 2016 - February 2017
    Location: City of Swan
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