Captive Endangered Marsupials Released into the Wild
by Hannah L. Robbins
Perth Zoo recently released 14 zoo-born numbats (Myrmecobius fasciatus), also called banded anteaters, into Dryandra Woodland in Western Australia as part of an ongoing effort to bolster wild populations of the endangered marsupial that’s found only in Australia.
Thus far, Perth Zoo, which has the world’s only breeding center for numbats, in collaboration with Western Australia’s Department of Parks and Wildlife has reared 195 numbats through its breeding program. Those numbats will eventually help establish new populations and support already existing wild populations.
Habitat loss in addition to predation from birds of prey, carpet pythons, foxes, and cats have reduced the number of numbats to fewer than 1,000 individuals. “The breeding program is critical to increasing numbers and getting populations out there. It’s one of the only options that we have,” said Dani Jose, a keeper and numbat researcher at the Perth Zoo. “It has to be done that way or they’d be gone.”…
(read more: Wildlife Society)
photograph by Helenabella