Stick-nest rat conservation

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Conservation of the greater stick-nest rat - a review of attempts to establish new populations by translocation over the past 30 years.

The greater stick-nest rat Leporillus conditor survived only on the Franklin Islands in South Australia, some 35 km south of Ceduna.  Its sister species, the lesser stick-nest rat, is now extinct. Both species were last recorded on the Australian mainland in the 1930s.

Conservation actions have included extensive surveys of the species’ former mainland range, establishment of a captive colony, and numerous translocations. To date, there have been ten attempts to establish new populations by translocation across three States with varying degrees of success. These translocations have been spread between sites managed by government, non-government and community sectors.

This review of translocation success is a collaboration between scientists from Western Australia and South Australia who have been actively involved in field programs to conserve the species.

A burly salt miner and community volunteer from Useless Loop releases a stick-nest rat after monitoring at the reintroduction site on Heirisson Prong