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The Red-tailed Phascogale in the agricultural landscape of the southern WA wheatbelt - distribution and conservation


We have been working with the Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone, South West Catchments Council, and the Hyden Progress Association to assess the distribution and status of Red-tailed Phascogale in the south-western wheatbelt between Cuballing in the north, Katanning in the south, and Hyden in the east. We have particularly targeted areas of remnant vegetation remaining on farms or otherwise outside the formal conservation estate. We provide landholders with a greater sense of the value of their remnant vegetation and to encourage them to improve the management of their remnants for nature conservation.


We have assessed presence / absence of Phascogale in over 130 farm remnants over the past 6 years and greatly clarified their present range (60% of remnants had Phascogale). Phascogale appear to be relatively common in a localised area of the wheatbelt focussed largely on areas of wandoo and rock sheoak habitat, but now occur irregularly beyond this habitat. This survey work has led to substantial on-ground work to benefit phascogale. This includes the protection of > 395 hectares of remnant vegetation by over 20 kilometres of new fencing and the planting of over 11,000 native seedlings to create or enhance corridors for the movement of Phascogale in the Wagin area.


In addition to trapping surveys, our knowledge of the distribution of phascogale throughout southern WA is being supplemented by a community atlas scheme co-ordinated by the Wagin Woodanilling Landcare Zone, where community members are being encouraged to report their sightings. A sightings form is available as a pdf. This work is being extended to the central wheatbelt as part of the project to reintroduce phascogale back to Wadderin Sanctuary at Narembeen.


Clients: Wagin-Woodanilling Landcare Zone; South West Catchments Council (SWCC) for survey within the SWCC region;  WA NRM for areas in the Wheatbelt NRM region.


See Landscope article (pdf)


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