Photographer's Note

The Shark Bay area was one of the more mammal rich
parts of Western Australia before European settlement.
Over the last 200 years, 60% of the native mammals have become locally extinct in this area. Project Eden
commenced on Peron Peninsula, Shark Bay in 1994. Its
objectives were to a) control or eradicate the introduced fauna, b) reconstruct the native fauna of the peninsula,and c) to promote nature based tourism based on the unique Shark Bay fauna.
Control of sheep, goats and foxes has been successful.
Feral cat control has been difficult in the presence of large numbers of rabbits and other prey, however significant advances in the development of an effective feral cat control method have been made. A better understanding of the factors influencing the uptake of baits by feral cats has also been achieved. A captive breeding centre was established to provide animals for translocation. This ensured that wild populations of species restricted to
islands or small parts of the mainland were not
detrimentally impacted by the removal of large numbers
of founders for translocation. Between 1996 and 2002,
nearly 70 malleefowl and 150 mammals were bred /
reared in captivity and 155 have been released. Malleefowl and bilbies have been successfully reintroduced to Peron Peninsula. Mala and banded hare-wallabies did not persist due primarily to cat predation. Woylies were reintroduced from other wild populations and are persisting in low numbers. Extant small vertebrate population abundances
appear to respond more to rainfall events, rather than cat predation, while larger extant vertebrates have increased since sheep, goat, fox and feral cat control has been implemented.
While feral cat control has been demonstrated for short periods, additional work is required to reduce their numbers further, and for longer periods before additional native species can be translocated. In addition to the reestablishment of native fauna and the enhancement of the remnant native fauna, Project Eden has provided many benefits relating to the management of pest species and date, it is proposed that the objectives of this project be revised and that certain actions are necessary to ensure
future success. These include a refinement of feral cat control methods, the development and use of models to predict optimum bait uptake times, a review of species suitable for translocation, and the adequacy of existing staff numbers and captive breeding facilities.

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Additional Photos by Thomas Sautter (mjdundee) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 345 W: 50 N: 466] (4663)
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