Federal funding provides ongoing help for ‘brushies’ with a new conservation network planned


12 April 2021

Wildlife Queensland is delighted to announce that we have successfully secured a grant funded under the Commonwealth Government’s ‘Environment Restoration Fund Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan – Priority Species’ program to help recover populations of the nationally vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallaby (Petrogale penicillata) across the South East.

The Hon Sussan Ley MP, Minister for the Environment, announced the successful recipients on 3 April 2022, and the complete list of successful applicants can be viewed here.

Brush-tailed rock-wallaby recovery in South East Queensland

The $198,375 sum allocated to Wildlife Queensland will be a major boon for brush-tailed rock-wallabies, which our team has already been supporting using member donations from our 2018 Christmas appeal. More recently, our part-time Project Officer Hannah Thomas has also been working with local landholders and the Logan City Council, setting infrared wildlife cameras to survey for the species around Mount Perry.

This much-needed funding for ‘brushies’ renews and enhances our ability to help save this species, allowing Wildlife Queensland to:

  • establish a dedicated Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby Conservation Network and website (similar to that for our existing Quoll Seekers Network, Queensland Glider Network, Richmond Birdwing Conservation Network and PlatypusWatch), which will build community support for conserving this species by monitoring sightings and working with NRM groups, councils, and other community groups to identify private landholders with populations of brush-tailed rock-wallabies on their properties
  • survey, support, and enhance brush-tailed rock-wallaby populations at key sites in South East Queensland, including at Crows Nest, Flinders Peak, Main Range, Mount Barney, and Moogerah Peaks
  • implement strategic invasive predator and weed control programs that mitigate the threat of predation by the European red fox and feral cat and reduce weed invasion on private properties within the project area
  • invite the Yuggera Ugarapul, Kabi Kabi and Mununjahli Traditional Owners to identify and explore cultural connections and priorities, including the opportunity to be involved in on-country events
  • develop a brush-tailed rock-wallaby habitat management guide to encourage landholders to restore and manage habitat – particularly important in the wake of the 2019–2020 bushfires.

Hopping close to the edge

Brush-tailed rock-wallaby populations have contracted considerably over the past few decades, mostly due to the combined threats of habitat loss and land modification, predation by invasive species, natural disasters, and climate change.

The bushfires of 2019–2020 had a devastating outcome, destroying some 80 per cent of the species’ habitat in New South Wales and reducing populations in Queensland around Toowoomba and the Scenic Rim.

‘We know this lovely little wallaby species now survives in isolated South East Queensland populations – sometimes just a handful of individuals ­– which are very susceptible to localised extinction following disasters,’ says Wildlife Queensland Project Officer Paul Revie, who applied for the funding.

‘We’re thrilled that these funds will help us secure brush-tailed rock-wallaby populations in the northern part of their range and prevent further range contraction. Best of all, this will generate ongoing benefits for brushies, long after the lifetime of the project, through the establishment of the Queensland BTRW Conservation Network and the production of landholder revegetation guides. We can’t wait to get started.’

Once the project is in full swing, Wildlife Queensland will no doubt be seeking additional volunteers keen to help with weed removal and revegetation projects, and we look forward to welcoming all ‘wallaby watchers’ to the new network. Those who haven’t already are urged to please sign up for our free e-news bulletin to be alerted to all news related to brush-tailed rock-wallabies.

Wildlife Queensland would like to thank the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for recognising the need for increased funding for priority threatened species such as the brush-tailed rock-wallaby.

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