CQ wallaby numbers bounce back
RANGERS and researchers are excited by a boom in bridled nailtail wallaby numbers at the Central Queensland site where they were first rediscovered in the 1970s.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service senior conservation officer John Augusteyn said the population of the small wallabies at Taunton National Park, 135km west of Rockhampton, had doubled in just the past year.
"This is the fifth year in arow of sustained population growth, thanks to a renewed management regime for the wallabies,” Mr Augusteyn said.
"QPWS, together with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, Fitzroy Basin Association staff and volunteers doing the annual survey, in October 2017 trapped 351 individual BNTs.
"Estimates suggest the core Taunton population could actually be as high as 423 animals.
"This increase is the result of several initiatives - predator control, in particular control of feral cats; supplementary feeding during drought in 2015-16; reduction of buffel grass by cattle; and good seasonal conditions since the last drought.
"We catch the wallabies incage traps lined with carpet, then they are microchipped or pit tagged, released and recaptured so we can estimate the population size.
"This year nearly all the adult female wallabies had young in their pouches.
"It was also great to see the number of animals weighing less than 4kg has continued to increase. This is the size of animal we suspect is targeted by cats and the increase suggests the focus on controlling feral cats is paying dividends.”