Wildlife Research and Management Pty Ltd
The Heirisson Prong Project aims to re-
Our aim is to understand why species have become extinct on the mainland, to develop
and implement management techniques which allow the re-
Management of the Heirisson Prong conservation reserve for endangered species requires
the exclusion of foxes and feral cats. This is imperative as invading foxes can kill
bettongs at the rate of 1 -
Total exclusion requires regular fence maintenance to protect a core area of 12 square
kilometres, and the tracking, trapping and poisoning of predators reinvading the
adjoining buffer zone. Foxes and feral cats are controlled in this buffer zone of
200 square kilometres to minimise or eliminate reinvasion into the core protected
area. Regular monitoring by spotlighting and track surveys and trapping in both core
and buffer areas provides information on the changing abundance of foxes, feral cats,
and rabbits as well as reintroduced bettongs, bandicoots and stick-
The use of peninsulas to conserve reintroduced wildlife was pioneered on Heirisson Prong. Such peninsulas provide the opportunity to exclude exotic predators (foxes and cats) from large areas with greatly reduced costs for fencing. On Heirisson Prong, 12 square kilometres are protected by a 1.8 km fence. Similar projects have been established on Venus Bay Peninsula in South Australia and Peron Peninsula in Western Australia.
Methods developed on site for the control of feral cats are now being used increasingly at other conservation sites across Australia.
Useless Loop Community Involvement
In 1989, a group of community members formed the Useless Loop Community Biosphere
Project Group Inc. (ULCBPG) and initiated a project to convert nearby Heirisson Prong
from pastoral land-
The Useless Loop community, with the support of SBSJV, have taken on vital management
roles, including fence construction and maintenance, track maintenance, predator
control through regular ground and aerial baiting, trapping and shooting, and signage.
Community members have assisted with the reintroduction of three threatened mammals:
burrowing bettongs, western barred bandicoots and greater stick-
Heirisson Prong provides a safe haven for threatened mammals, a refuge for local species that are threatened by the presence of introduced predators, rabbits and livestock in their remaining habitat, and a source of animals for translocation to other conservation reserves in Australia. The hope of the community is that these benefits continue indefinitely.
Three species of endangered mammal have been reintroduced as part of this project: the in May 1992, the in November 1995, and the in August 1999. Considerable research effort has been directed at establishing effective methods for the eradication of foxes and feral cats from Heirisson Prong and in establishing effective release techniques that minimise dispersal of animals once released. The survival of all species is critically dependent on the absence of exotic predators.
|Western barred bandicoot|