Looking after rock wallabies and finding a northern quoll

In August the Jigalong rangers worked together with Alicia and Jo from Parks and Wildlife Services WA to conduct monitoring of warru (Black-flanked Rock Wallaby) at Pinpi (Durba Springs) and Kaalpi (Calvert Ranges).

The team worked together to trap warru at Kaalpi, check and change motion-sensor camera cards at Pinpi and Kaalpi, as well as predator monitoring and baiting at Kaalpi.

The motion-sensor cameras at Pinpi captured a wiminyji (Northern Quoll). This is the first time this species has been recorded by Western Science in this area. As the photo indicates, Pinpi would appear to be a happy hunting ground as this individual is a very healthy specimen.

Both teams worked very hard on the first full day in Kaalpi setting up 50 traps ready for trapping to commence the next morning. It was decided to run the traps for three nights and to try two nights of trapping with 10 traps further east at a site previously cleared by the senior men during an earlier visit. As with previous trapping trips the team was split into two and each team was responsible for running 25 traps for the three mornings.

Cat track monitoring and distribution of baits covering the area subject to aerial baiting and beyond was undertaken during the trip.

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Generally, the Kaalpi area was very dry and warru numbers were down on previous years. Despite the conditions, additional animals were sighted in the area and one previously never trapped animal was caught and processed. DNA analysis will show this animal’s relationship to animals captured in the main trapping area to date.

Another element of this trip was installation of a listening device capable of recording sounds made by bats. The listening devices will be collected at a later date.

Whilst at Pinpi the rangers gave a presentation to tourists about the warru project, cat monitoring and baiting, and also about their work and lives generally. This session was a highlight for some of the tourists on their journey down the Canning Stock Route.