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Kangaroo Island Dunnart: Nine threatened species spotted on surveys

Kangaroo Island Dunnart: Nine threatened species spotted on surveys

January 31, 2022

FAME’s long-standing partnership with KI Land for Wildlife continues, as we work to protect and monitor the few surviving Kangaroo Island Dunnarts.

The latest update from KI shows promising results in cross-species surveys, and the team on the ground are optimistic sightings of the dunnart will rise in upcoming seasons.

Increasing engagement with local landholders is providing positive impetus in the fight to provide suitable habitat for the species and hopes remain that the dunnarts can recover from the devastating losses seen through the 2019-20 bushfires.

MONITORING KANGAROO ISLAND DUNNARTS IN 2021

Monitoring takes place through a combination of camera trap set-ups and seasonal fauna trapping surveys. In the most recent trapping efforts, no dunnarts were observed, but these sites will be surveyed again in warmer weather with the hope of increasing our knowledge of the species’ movement patterns.

There are 30 camera trap fence lines in place across the North West Conservation Alliance area, most of which are contained within the 4200 hectares of unburnt scrub. These results were more positive, with 28 different species identified. Nine of these were threatened species, as follows:

  • Kangaroo Island Dunnart
  • Heath Goanna
  • Shy Heathwren
  • Western White-Bellied Whipbird
  • Southern Emu Wren
  • Southern Brown Bandicoot
  • KI Bassian Thrush
  • KI Short-Beaked Echidna
  • KI Crimson Rosella.

Camera traps are also positioned across three zones managed by KI LfW, and whilst detections of the dunnart decreased in July 21, they peaked again two months later in September.

The next phase of this important work relies on the capture of dunnarts in upcoming fauna surveys. The team have radio tracking collars ready for use, and once they are able to be fitted to KI Dunnarts the data provided should enable more effective conservation practices moving forward.

Please consider a tax-deductible donation by clicking here to help us hit the funding target for this important work.

Image: Jody Gates