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Conserving the black-flanked rock-wallaby (petrogale lateralis lateralis) through tourism: Development of a habitat ranking system for translocated animals and the need for on-going management

Davies, M., Newsome, D., Moncrieff, D. and Smith, A.J. (2007) Conserving the black-flanked rock-wallaby (petrogale lateralis lateralis) through tourism: Development of a habitat ranking system for translocated animals and the need for on-going management. Conservation Science Western Australia, 6 (1). pp. 1-12.

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    Abstract

    The Black-flanked Rock-Wallaby (Petrogale lateralis lateralis) was once widespread throughout Western Australia but due to a combination of factors its range has declined significantly and its present distribution is limited to a few widely scattered isolated populations. It is gazetted as vulnerable under Western Australian legislation and requires active management to ensure its survival. Translocating species to areas of suitable habitat, when coupled with predator control, is an effective method of expanding species distribution as well as increasing population numbers. This study investigated the requirements for both effective translocation and site assessment in relation to the development of tourism based on black-flanked rock-wallabies. A species-specific habitat ranking system was devised to identify suitable areas for translocated populations. This was followed by an assessment of the tourism potential of the identified sites. When both sets of results were added together potential sites were identified that could satisfy both habitat and tourism requirements. Avon Valley National Park and Billyacatting Nature Reserve were found to be the most suitable sites for translocating rock-wallabies on the basis of suitable habitat and the potential for subsequent development of wildlife tourism. Viable breeding population size, feral predator control, competing introduced herbivore control and fire management are all identified as aspects that require management action. Tourism management requires stakeholder liaison, possible zoning and separation strategies and appropriate waste disposal at tourism sites. Public contact with translocated animals requires an educative approach that avoids any feeding of wildlife. Relatively close contact between visitors and wildlife may be achieved through a process of habituation. Such strategies should however be subject to review.

    Publication Type: Journal Article
    Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
    Publisher: Department of Environment and Conservation
    Copyright: (c) Government of Western Australia
    URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/2592
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