GPAG Logo

GILBERT'S POTOROO - AUSTRALIA'S MOST ENDANGERED MAMMAL

Welcome to the Website of Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group


Gilbert's Potoroo Gilbert's Potoroo is a small marsupial teetering on the brink of extinction. Found only in dense scrub on a rugged, windswept headland thrusting out into the Southern Ocean, its numbers are so low that a chance event like a bushfire or a drought could push the species into extinction.

location mapFirst discovered in 1840 by naturalist John Gilbert and recorded again only a few times over the next 40 years, this small rat-kangaroo was thought to be extinct since the late 1870s until rediscovered in 1994 at Two Peoples Bay near Albany, on the South Coast of Western Australia.

It is estimated there are only 30 to 40 animals in the only known wild population, with an additional 40 to 50 animals in two translocated conservation colonies.This limited population means that critically endangered Gilbert's Potoroo is Australia's rarest mammal.

Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group is a not-for-profit community group, hoping to help save Gilbert's Potoroo from extinction. On our website you can find out about the history, ecology and conservation of Gilbert's Potoroo together with information about our group and links to other sites of interest. We hope that you find our site informative and that you might be inspired to help us to help Gilbert's Potoroo.

The information on this website relating to Gilbert's Potoroo has been reviewed by Dr Tony Friend, DEC's Principal Research Scientist in charge of the Gilbert's Potoroo Recovery Program. Tony is also a member of Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group.

We intend to regularly update the site with news relating to the conservation of Gilbert's Potoroo and the activities of our group, so bookmark our site and keep track of what's happening!

Join Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group Make a donation

*** POTOROO NEWS ***

A collection of the latest news about Gilbert's Potoroo and our group's activities.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2013 News

14 Feb 2013 Australian endangered species: Gilbert's Potoroo Details
11 Jan 2013 Potoroos cards are very well received Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2012 News

29 Nov 2012 Send a Potoroo eCard Details
29 Nov 2012 Potoroo postcards in a coffeee shop near you Details
16 Nov 2012 Good Ship "Volendam" in Town Details
25 Oct 2012 Tiny Species faces Risk Details
13 Sept 2012 Back from the Dead: Gilbert's potoroo Details
7 Sept 2012 National Threatened Species Day: WWF calls on Prime Minister to stop weakening environment laws Details
Winter 2012 Australia's Rarest Mammal Details
31 May 2012 Saving the Potoroo Details
24 May 2012 UWA Albany Skywest lecture: Saving Gilbert's potoroo; A challenge for science and the community Details
23 May 2012 Mount Barker Community College Supports Gilbert's Potoroo Details
18 May 2012 Funds Raised Help keep an eye on Potoroo Details
24 April 2012 What I drink when: Wendy Gleen Details
April 2012 Nornalup Weekend Details
12 April 2012 Gilbert's Potoroo Protectors turn to Technology Details
9 April 2012 Denmark Delights Visitors Details
5 April 2012 Technology helps Gilbert's Potoroo recovery efforts Details
14 Jan 2012 Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2011 News

20 Oct 2011 Potoroos radio home Details
20 Oct 2011 Potoroos' slow recovery Details
13 Oct 2011 Potoroo population growing Details
June 2011 Balingup Weekend Details
9 June 2011 Latest vintage boosts potoroos Details
May 2011 Radio-tracking tents for volunteers Details
30 April 2011 A baby Gilbert's potoroo Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2010 News

18 Oct 2010 Fight for life as species threat revealed Details
6 Oct 2010 Potoroos thrive on island home Details
12 Aug 2010 Potoroos thrive Details
6 Aug 2010 Gilbert's potoroo translocation proving successful Details
1 July 2010 Group toasts potoroo success Details
24 June 2010 Wine Cheque Hand-over - Wine Series 2009 Details
12 June 2010 Perth Zoo Event Details
May 2010 Karri Valley Weekend Details
18 May 2010 Potoroo News Updated Details
11 March 2010 Potoroos given an new home Details
5 March 2010 New breeding colony for world's rarest marsupial Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2009 News

9 Dec 2009 $1million investment into south coast nature conservation Details
4 Dec 2009 Volunteer Awards Details
October 2009 Cheers to the Potoroo Details
7 Sept 2009 Island digs give new life to rare potoroo Details
27 July 2009 Vital Government funding for critically endangered species Details
July 2009 Walpole weekend Details
16 June 2009 Funding fears for groups Details
11 June 2009 Woylie back on at-risk list Details
16 Feb 2009 Australian Geographic funds new search for potoroos Details
Feb 2009 Gilbert's Potoroo translocated to new areas find their fungi Details
23 Jan 2009 Breeding scheme helping endangered potoroos Details
22 Jan 2009 Potoroos start a new colony Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2008 News

14 Nov 2008 Book sales help the potoroo Details
Sept 2008 Quaalup weekend Details
24 July 2008 Breeding Like Rabbits Details
22 July 2008 Second mainland potoroo population to be established Details
21 March 2008 Winery gives potoroo group help Details
Feb 2008 Treasure Island Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2007 News

28 Dec 2007 Telling the tale of a potoroo Details
20 Dec 2007 Potoroo relocated Details
11 Dec 2007 Potoroo's tale not just a story Details
23 Aug 2007 Potoroos multiply Details
21 Aug 2007 Gilbert's Potoroo released Details
17 Aug 2007 The tiny survivor fighting against a wave of extinction Details
16 Aug 2007 Bald Island home to two more Gilbert's Potoroos Details
19 July 2007 Potoroos thrive on Bald Island Details
19 July 2007 Move on the cards for rare potoroo Details
17 July 2007 Bald Island a successful breeding site Details
24 May 2007 Wine a winner for potoroo fundraiser Details
May 2007 DEC staff and Gilbert's Potoroos to star on Italian TV Details
12 April 2007 Progress for potoroos Details
13 March 2007 Italians focus in on potoroo Details
13 March 2007 Breeding program may save potoroo Details
8 March 2007 Good progress in potoroo program Details
6 March 2007 Pouch to pouch transfer fosters hope Details
6 March 2007 Gilbert's Potoroo to feature in Italian documentary Details
4 Jan 2007 Endeavouring to save endangered potoroo Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2006 News

14 Nov 2006 Friends of the environment on show Details
10 Oct 2006 Potoroos thriving Details
5 Oct 2006 Gilbert's Potoroo continue to thrive on Bald Island Details
Sept 2006 Quaalup Weekend Details
5 Sept 2006 Potoroos settle into their new home Details
25 May 2006 Proceeds of Potoroo drop Details
19 April 2006 First potoroos on Bald Island Details
25 Feb 2006 Potoroo plan pays off - twice Details
23 Feb 2006 Potoroos Breed Details
16 Feb 2006 First potoroo pouch-young bred on Bald Island Details
16 Feb 2006 Storm Fire Details
Jan 2006 Delight at Gilbert's Potoroo birth Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2005 News

29 Dec 2005 Potoroo baby bonus Details
22 Dec 2005 Birth gives hope for new colony Details
14 Dec 2005 Bald Island potoroo population growing Details
7 Oct 2005 Potoroos left on island to produce second colony Details
Sept 05 Donnelly River Weekend Details
17 Sept 2005 Endangered potoroos doing fine in their new home Details
9 Sept 2005 Endangered species new home Details
Sept 2005 New home for Australia's most endangered mammal Details
12 Aug 2005 Potoroo trio are hope of species Details
11 Aug 2005 CALM makes special delivery to Bald Island Details
11 Aug 2005 Potoroos deserted to ensure survival Details
12 July 2005 Perth Zoo Details
July 2005 The Australian Mammal Conference was held in Albany WA. Details
24 May 2005 Bald Island - Possible home for Gilbert's Potoroos Details
21 Apr 2005 Picture-perfect home for potoroo painting Details
19 Apr 2005 Island could be new home for potoroos Details
24 March 2005 Bald Island - possible new home for Gilbert's Potoroos Details

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2004 News

18 Nov 2004 Twertup Weekend Details
21 Oct 2004 Top drop aids potoroo research Details
27 Sept 2004 10th Anniversary wine release Details
June 2004 Endangered potoroo receives funding boost Details
8 June 2004 Gilbert's Potoroo brochure release Details
May 2004 Perup Weekend Details
14 Apr 2004 CALM thanks Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group Details
14 Apr 2004 GPAG Donates $2000 to buy radio transmitters. Details
14 Apr 2004 Blue Mountains Grammar School Fundraiser. Details
12 Mar 2004 GPAG website is now online. Details



Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2013 Stories

14 Feb 2013 Australian endangered species: Gilbert's Potoroo
An article on Gilbert's Potoroo by Elizabeth Sinclair, one of the researchers who rediscovered Gilbert's potoroo in 1994, has been published on website The Conversation as part of their series on Australian endangered species.
Link to Gilbert's potoroo article.
11 Jan 2013 Potoroos cards are very well received
Our Gilbert's Potoroo postcard AvantCard campaign was a great success! 20,000 cards were distibuted to cafes, bars, cultural venues and universities all around the country. We have just received our post-campaign report and it shows that the cards were very well received and were fast movers (a bit like the Potoroos, really).
Although the actual cards were taken very quickly, you can still send a Gilbert's Potoroo ecard to your friends and contacts - check it out, it is a lovely card.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2012 Stories

29 Nov 2012 Send a Potoroo eCard
AvantCard have very generously included our Gilbert's Potoroo postcard in their ecard range - meaning you can send the card to anyone by email.
Sending a Gilbert's Potoroo ecard to your friends and contacts would be an excellent way to spread awareness of the plight of Gilbert's Potoroo and it is easy to send to many friends/contacts in one easy step - just click the "Add recipient" to add more "Recipient's Email" boxes.
And it's FREE!
So, go ahead and send a Gilbert's Potoroo ecard - it is all really easy, sends pretty much instantly and it is a lovely card.
29 Nov 2012 Potoroo postcards in a coffeee shop near you
AvantCard have very generously agreed to sponsor a card run for Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group. We have submitted the required artwork to AvantCard and the card has now been released.
The card is currently being released into eastern states outlets and it should be in WA outlets in early December. In case you are not familiar with AvantCards, they have the displays of free postcards in many cafes, bars, theatres and other cultural venues.
So... keep an eye out for the postcards, send them to friends, stick them on your wall (or fridge) or whatever takes your fancy.
16 Nov 2012 Good Ship "Volendam" in Town
From The Extra (Albany Advertiser), November 16, 2012, page 8:
Residents and international travellers enjoyed the hustle and and bustle of York Street on Sunday. About 1400 passengers docked in Albany Port on board cruise ship Volendam. Highlights for the mostly American travellers included the Alison Hartman Gardens markets and Remembrance Day commemorations on York Street.
This article included a photograph of Gilby posing with Bev Davis from the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group and a visitor from new Zealand.
25 Oct 2012 Tiny Species faces Risk
From the Albany Advertiser, October 25, 2012, page 16:
The endangered Gilbert's potoroo live life on the edge every year with potentially deadly summer bushfires threatening their survival.
With bushfire season now starting, the recent Two Peoples Bay fire which tragically injured two fire fighters, was also a timely reminder of the threat to native wildlife.
Mt. Gardner in the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is the last known home of the wild potoroo population. Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group chairman Ron Dorn said the risk of fire continued to be the major threat to the species.
"Probably this fire was as close to being the major threat that everyone is worried about." he said.
"Department of Environment and Conservation make every effort to protect the reserve... but it's a thin line you walk."
"If a fire did get in there they could be wiped out completely."
It is estimated there are only 30 to 40 animals in the wild population, and an additional 40 to 50 animals in two translocated conservation colonies at Bald island and Normans beach.
The Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group engages in regular monitoring of the animals to learn more about their movements.
"We've funded the installation of 20 motion-activated cameras, which are being used to observe or study the movement of the potoroo throughout the day or night being nocturnal". Mr. Dorn said.
This week is Bushfire Action Week and a timely reminder to be vigilant this summer to ensure more people's lives and animals are not put in danger.
Fire and Emergency Services Authority Great Southern district manager Kevin Parsons urged people to act now.
"If you don't prepare you won't have a chance." he said.
Link to Article by Katherine Mountain.
13 Sept 2012 Back from the Dead: Gilbert's potoroo
From Australian Geographic, Issue 108, May-June 2012, pages 32-33:
Conservations are celebrating the return of an enigmatic marsupial, previously thought extinct. She's known simply as 216. But she's unquestionably special, and as the small, black bag is peeled back to reveal her long snout and large dark eyes she's greeted with a hushed ripple of reverential "oohs" and "aahs".
This is the 216th Gilbert's potoroo to be counted since the species was rediscovered in 1994 after a century on our list of extinct mammals. One of just 100 that remain, this is arguably the world's rarest marsupial: a rabbit-sized, wallaby-like, ball of soft fur that lives almost exclusively on native truffles.
We're in a bush enclosure near Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, on the south coast of Western Australia. And the small audience being given this rare viewing includes volunteers who've been labouring to maintain the 8.2km predator-proof fence surrounding a new 380ha reserve, where 216 will eventually be released. "It's such a privilege," whispers Jonica Foss, of Perth, here to pull plants from around the fence to stop cats clambering over. "To think there are so few left and we've just seen one!"
The man who's headed the recovery program since it began in 1999 is Dr Tony Friend, a scientist with WA's Department of Environment and Conservation. When we last spoke to him about the potoroo's plight (AG 88) there was little good news. The only natural population, at Two Peoples Bay, had been secured but was at maximum capacity of about 30. The species still hung on a knife edge with the real threat that one fire could wipe it out for good.
Link to Article by Karen McGhee for more details.
7 Sept 2012 National Threatened Species Day: WWF calls on Prime Minister to stop weakening environment laws
On National Threatened Species Day, WWF is calling on the Prime Minister to stop the winding back of Australia's environmental protection laws and provide greater security for our wild places and threatened wildlife.
National Threatened Species Day falls on September 7 each year and commemorates the day in 1936 when the last Tasmanian tiger died in a Hobart zoo.
"Australia's environmental protection laws were put in place to stop the tragic loss of species, such as the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger," said WWF-Australia Director of Conservation Dr Gilly Llewellyn.
"It's now over 70 years since the last Tasmanian tiger died in captivity and we are witnessing the possible winding back of crucial environmental laws, which will leave our threatened species even more vulnerable to the impacts of major projects like dams, coal-ports, mines and greenfield housing developments."
Dr Llewellyn said environmental laws were an essential element of a healthy society. They not only protect our fragile ecosystems, they also protect our health, our communities, our economy and future generations.
Australia has 55 extinct animal species, 42 extinct plants and 1694 nationally threatened species. Australian species currently on the Critically Endangered list include:
  • The orange-bellied parrot - reduced to less than 50 birds in the wild;
  • The eastern grey nurse shark - reduced to around 500 individuals left in the wild;
  • The bridled nailtail wallaby - estimated to be between 400 and 600 left in the wild;
  • The speartooth shark - reduced to less than 250 individuals in the wild;
  • The Gilbert's potoroo - reduced to less than 50 individuals in the wild.
Link to WWF web article for more details.
Winter 2012 Australia's Rarest Mammal
From the Regional Lifestyle Magazine, Winter 2012 Issue, pages 32-33:
Katherine Mountain finds the fight to save a critically endangered marsupial, found only around Albany, is far from over.
The survival of the Gilbert's potoroo is a remarkable story. It's a tale of resurrection somewhat akin to the Tasmanian tiger, whose story has been distorted to almost mythical proportions with sporadic "sightings" of the tiger returned from extinction to roam the countryside.
Only the potoroos story is far more interesting because, against the odds, the potoroo dodged its presumed fate and survived - and the only place in the whole world they are found is in the Great Southern.
But, unlike their iconic furry cousins the quokka, which receive more than their share of publicity, the potoroo isn't one to hog the spotlight.
It's a situation the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group is keen to change.
This article featured photographs of a Gilbert's potoroo and also one of GPAG members: Val Hack, Ken Bushell and Ron Dorn.
31 May 2012 Saving the Potoroo
From The Albany Magazine, Vol.3, Issue 6, June 2012, pages 8-10:
The survival of the Gilbert's potoroo is a remarkable story.
It's a tale that brings the Tasmanian tiger and it continuing "sightings" to mind, but the potoroo is not a myth.
Against the odds, the potoroo dodged extinction and a colony survives 30km east of Albany at Two Peoples Bay, the only place in the world it can be found.
The colony of tiny marsupials owes its continued existence in part to the efforts of a group of concerned locals who banded together in 2001 to form the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group.
Former Albany Senior High School principal Ron Dorn, who has been the group's chairman since its formation, said he had been motivated by fears that the species was going to be allowed to die out.
"I guess one of my main motivations was I'd read that some environmental scientists in Australia were saying that because of limited resources for conservation that we have to have a 'triage system'," he said.
"There are those who regard some animals as basket cases and feel that we shouldn't waste resources on lost causes.
"So the potoroo, numbering only 35 or so at Two Peoples Bay, was going to be triaged out of existence and I thought that was not on.
"Every species deserves a fighting chance, otherwise we'd just end up with humans on the planet."
This informative article contains details of GPAG fundraising and volunteer activities - and includes photos of a potoroo, GPAG members and Dr Tony Friend releasing and then radio-tracking a potoroo.
24 May 2012 UWA Albany Skywest lecture: Saving Gilbert's potoroo; A challenge for science and the community
On 24th May, Dr Tony Friend, from Department of Environment and Conservation, presented a UWA Albany Skywest Lecture on Gilbert's potoroo at the UWA Albany Centre.
Link to Lecture Poster for more details.
23 May 2012 Mount Barker Community College Supports Gilberts Potoroo
From Potoroo Postings, Number 6, 2012:
Year 7 students (2011) from Mount Barker C.C. responded to a talk given by Ron Dorn on the plight of the Gilbert's potoroo by raising money to help the Recovery Program.
Through car washes and food stalls, students raised $501 which was donated to GPAG.
Ron congratulated the Year 7 class and teacher, Sarah Hancox, for the wonderful support and for their excellent preparation, knowledge of biodiversity, conservation and marsupial breeding concepts.
Their questions reflected a high degree of understanding of threatened species issues.
A very special thank you to Sarah and the Year 7's of 2011.
18 May 2012 Funds Raised Help keep an eye on Potoroo
From The Extra (Albany Advertiser), May 18, 2012, page 11:
The Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group was delighted to receive a cheque from Jingalla Wines on Wednesday to help their campaign to increase the population of the animals.
"They were thought extinct until 1994 when a research scientist found one in Two Peoples Bay" said chairman Ron Dorn.
They have since counted only 35 animals at the bay, the only known natural habitat of Gilbert's potoroo, putting them on the UN critically endangered species list. Part of the money raised is being used for motion-activated infrared cameras that monitor the creatures providing information on their tenuous existence.
"We need to become more familiar with their habits, understand that fully and in the long run find out how we can put them in the open environment," Mr. Dorn said.
This article featured a photograph of Gilberts Potoroo Action Group members and Shelly Coad from Jingalla Wines.
24 April 2012 What I drink when: Wendy Gleen
From The Sydney Morning Herald, April 24, 2012:
Wendy Gleen loves potoroo wine, which is not to say she's into drinking fermented marsupials. The Taronga zookeeper is referring to a limited-edition series of wines from Western Australia's Jingalla winery sold to raise funds for the conservation of the most endangered native mammal in Australia, Gilbert's potoroo.
Small native mammals are Gleen's area of interest and she's passionate about potoroos of all persuasions, not to mention bilbies, bush rats, striped possums, phascogales, quolls and more. She refuses to choose favourites and describes her charges as variously "beguiling", "underrated", "quirky" and "funky little dudes".
Link to SMH Article for full story.
April 2012 Nornalup Weekend (Group Social Event)
The weekend of 27-29th April saw 12 members of GPAG head off to Redman's Riverside Retreat between Nornalup and Walpole. The retreat borders the Frankland River and has the ocean to the south - so close that you can hear the waves roar at night.
As usual with our weekends, between walking and sightseeing, there was lots of eating, drinking, laughing, some singing and joke telling and a good time was had by all.
12 April 2012 Gilberts Potoroo Protectors turn to Technology
From The Weekender, April 12, 2012, page 9:
Motion-activated cameras are being used by scientists on WA's south coast as part of recovery efforts for the world's rarest marsupial - the Gilbert's potoroo.
Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) scientists have installed 20 cameras thoughout dense and rugged bushland within a 380 ha enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany.
The cameras were donated by the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group, with $12,773.93 raised through the sale of wine, donations, book sales and sausage sizzles.
DEC principal research scientist Tony Friend said the infra-red cameras would help monitor the potoroos, providing vital information on their use of vegetation types not present in their original habitat at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve near Albany.
"They will also provide an essential tool for monitoring three enclosure-bred potoroos - a milestone as one of them is second generation young," he said.
"Overall recovery actions are going well with the recent trapping on Bald Island capturing 52 potoroos, indicating that the population is still growing rapidly with young in pouches."
Dr Friend said that over the first two weeks of their use, the cameras caught images of other animals including a quokka, quenda, mardo, bush rat, echidna, goanna and a dugite snake.
"We are finding out more about potoroos all the time, but they remain critically endangered," he said.
Dr Friend said the Bald Island population stemmed from the translocation of 10 potoroos by DEC between 2005 and 2007 as insurance against the possible loss of the mainland population at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.
"The Bald Island population now numbers more than 50 even after we transferred 27 island-born animals to the 380ha predator-free enclosure at Waychinicup National Park," he said.
This article featured photographs of members of the Action Group with Dr Tony Friend and also an image of the potoroo caught on one of the cameras.
9 April 2012 Denmark Delights Visitors
From the Albany Advertiser, 9 April, 2012, Agenda Section:
The third Denmark Arts Markets of the year were a hive of activity on Easter Saturday , much like the rest of town. Holiday makers and locals were treated to a wide range of stalls and free entertainment in perfect weather on the banks of the Denmark River.
This Easter's markets were extended and included an extra range of stalls and more children's activities The free entertainment included performances by Odette Maercy and Her Soul Atomics, Hardey Ha Ha, Manaia.
This article included a picture of Gilbey, GPAG volunteer Jenny Cobbold and a young fan Harvey Fisher.
5 April 2012 Technology helps Gilbert's Potoroo recovery efforts.
From DEC Media release, April 5, 2012:
Motion-activated cameras are being used by scientists on WA's south coast as part of recovery efforts for the world's rarest marsupial - the Gilbert's potoroo.
Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) scientists have installed 20 cameras thoughout dense and rugged bushland within a 380 ha enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany.
DEC principal research scientist Tony Friend said the cameras, worth $12,770 were donated by the Gilbert's Potoroos Action Group and would help significantly in monitoring the potoroos, providing vital information on their use of vegetation types not present in their original habitat at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve near Albany.
"They will also provide an essential tool for monitoring three enclosure-bred potoroos - a milestone as one of them is second generation young," he said.
Dr Friend said the Bald Island population stemmed from the translocation of 10 potoroos by DEC between 2005 and 2007 as insurance against the possible loss of the mainland population at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve.
"The Bald Island population now numbers more than 50 even after we transferred 27 island-born animals to the 380ha predator-free enclosure at Waychinicup National Park," he said.
The critically endangered quokka-like animal has been the subject of conservation efforts by DEC since the discovery of a single wild population of about 40 animals at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve in 1994.
Prior to its rediscovery, the species was thought to have been extinct for more than a century with the last recorded specimens collected in the late 1870s.
Dr Friend said community involvement was an import part of the recover project with volunteers recently spending a week helping with works at the Waychinicup Nation Park enclosure including scrub removal and inspection of fencing."
Link to DEC Media Release for full story.
14 Jan 2012 Bunnings Sausage Sizzle
A fund raising sausage sizzle was held at Bunnings on 14 January 2012, on what was one of the hottest days of the year. $680.85 was raised by some very hot and bothered volunteers who cooked and talked and slaved their way through the day. Great work volunteers!

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2011 Stories

20 Oct 2011 Potoroos radio home
From the Albany Advertiser, 20 October, 2011, page 5:
The world's rarest marsupials are thriving in the Great Southern thanks to efforts to save them from extinction. Twelve Gilbert's potoroo were recently released into a protected enclosure at Waychinicup National Park, adding to the nine marsupials already at the park.
20 Oct 2011 Potoroos' slow recovery
From The Weekender, October 20, 2011, page 3:
The release of 12 Gilbert's potoroos into a tiny mainland population on the south coast is aiding the recovery of the world's rarest marsupial.
DEC principal research scientist Tony Friend said 10 potoroos were translocated between 2005 and 2007 from the original colony at Two Peoples Bay to predator free Bald Island. This was done as a form of insurance against the loss of the mainland population. The result has been a massive success for the DEC and the many volunteers involved, with a record 58 adult or sub-adult potoroos trapped on Bald Island in June this year.
Dr Friend said early last year, nine potoroos (6 from Bald Island, 3 from Two Peoples Bay) were released into a predator-free 380ha enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany. Eight more potoroos were translocated from Bald Island in September last year and we have just transferred another twelve.
(Article includes photo of Dr Tony Friend preparing to release a potoroo).
13 Oct 2011 Potoroo population growing
From ABC News, October 13, 2011:
Populations of one of the world's rarest marsupials continue to grow thanks to a breeding program on Western Australia's south coast.
Last week, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) moved 12 Gilberts potoroos to a predator-free enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, near Albany.
The marsupials came from a specialised breeding program at Bald Island where the DEC recently trapped a record 58 adult potoroos.
Tony Friend from the department says the Waychinicup colony will eventually help populate other areas. "I think the population has the potential to grow to 30 or 40 animals, so I think that's going to be a very useful breeding colony, from which we can take animals and move them to yet more areas," he said.
Link to ABC News Article
June 2011 Balingup Weekend (Group Social Event)
Twelve members of the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group went on a weekend away to the picturesque Lewana Cottages on the Balingup Nannup Road. We visited the Golden Valley, a gorgeous valley with walks amongst all kinds of deciduous trees, uphill and down dale, what a splendid time to be there. A sing-a-long led by Ron and Georgie was enjoyed by all, but most of us didn't know the words past the first line or verse.
9 June 2011 Latest vintage boosts potoroos
From The Weekender, June 9, 2011:
Great work has been done in Albany to save the endangered Gilbert's potoroo from extinction. There are now about 100 potoroos settled in three locations on the south coast away from predators. Since 2002, the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group has sold bottles of wine to raise the funds to help DEC research scientists buy trail transmitters, antennas, surveillance cameras and tent shelters for volunteers. The latest Jingalla Wines vintage raised $3,366 which was handed over by Shelley Coad last week
May 2011 Radio-tracking tents for volunteers
Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group donated four tents to DEC for the use of volunteers when radio-tracking potoroos. These specially made tents were hand made and crafted by Charmaine Mazzuchelli in South Australia. They are made in a tepee design to fit the base of the radio-tracking antennae poles. They are exceptionally well made and feature windows with flaps that can be rolled up to catch any breeze.
30 April 2011 A baby Gilbert's potoroo
ABC News have posted this lovely picture of a baby Gilbert's Potoroo on their website.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2010 Stories

18 Oct 2010 Fight for life as species threat revealed
From The West Australian, October 18, 2010:
WA's most endangered animals have for the first time been ranked according to their likelihood of extinction. The list compiled for The West Australian by the newly formed Threatened Species Council reveals how close some animals are to being lost for ever.
The rankings look at population size and the likelihood of survival based on threats from predators, disease and the encroachment of urban sprawl on habitats.
Frogs, turtles, birds and mammals all feature on the list of 16 animals, with the Gilbert's potoroo, which is found only on the south coast, ranked as the species most likely to disappear, with fewer than 100 left in the wild.
Link to Article by Michael Bennett for more details.
6 Oct 2010 Potoroos thrive on island home
From ABC South Coast WA, October 6, 2010:
Bald Island located 1.5 kilometres off the South Coast just east of Albany is proving to be a home in the sun for the critically endangered Gilbert's Potoroo as the Department of the Environment's Conservation Project reaches new highs.
The Gilbert's Potoroo translocation project started in 2005 when several of the animals were taken from their last remaining population at Two People's Bay to Bald Island in an attempt to protect the species from extinction.
Initially just three Potoroos were transported to the island, with several more animals being introduced incrementally between 2005 and 2009 as the population slowly increased.
From this tiny introduced population, the current number of the species on Bald Head is estimated to be at least 50 animals - eclipsing the original population found in Two People's Bay which is estimated to be between 30 and 40 animals.
Link to Article by Jo Pickup for full story.
12 Aug 2010 Potoroos thrive
From The Weekender, August 12, 2010:
Populations of Gilbert's potoroos are thriving on the South Coast, just east of Albany.
The Department of Environment and Conservation said recent efforts to boost two tiny translocated populations have proved successful according to latest monitoring results of the world's rarest marsupial.
The potoroo has been the subject of a recovery program since the discovery of the only known wild population of about 40 animals at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve in 1994.
Between 2005 and 2007, DEC translocated 10 potoroos from the original colony at Two Peoples Bay to predator-free Bald Island, as insurance against the loss of the tiny mainland population.
Earlier this year, nine potoroos were released into a specially built 308ha enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany.
DEC principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend said the latest monitoring trip to Bald Island had revealed a thriving population of potoroos.
" During the two-week trip, we captured 49 adult or young independant potoroos, nine of which were original founder animals, which is a big increase over the previous record in November last year, when 29 independent potoroos were captured," he said.
"The condition of the animals was good and 12 of the 19 females captured were carrying pouch young, while three others were suckling young out of the pouch."
6 Aug 2010 Gilbert's potoroo translocation proving successful
From DEC Media release, August 6, 2010:
Efforts to boost two tiny translocated populations of Gilbert's potoroos are proving successful, following the latest monitoring results of the world's rarest marsupial. Dr Tony Friend said a survey in mid-May revealed eight of the nine animals introduced into the predator-proof fenced enclosure at Waychinicup National Park had survived.
"Unfortunately, we lost one young male, which had been rescued at Two Peoples Bay and hand reared after becoming separated from his mother, as he apparently had trouble finding food," he said.
"One of the recaptured Bald Island females at Waychinicup had a young animal in its pouch, which would have been conceived in the fenced enclosure, and this is an extremely positive sign that the animals are adapting well to their new environment."
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
1 July 2010 Group toasts potoroo success
From The Weekender, July 1, 2010:
A project to protect the endangered Gilbert's Potoroo received another boost last weeek.
More than $3,800 from the annual sale of wine provided by Jingalla Wines was presented to the community-based Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group.
Over the past eight years, $30,000 has been raised by the group and allocated to Department of Conservation and Environment research scientist Tony Friend to continue his conservation work. Other money is invested for use as priorities dictate the need.
Equipment purchased has included a digital imager for mammal hair analysis, tail transmitters, solar panel and battery for lights, water tank and gas fridge for the captive facility and permanent tracking towers.
Potoroo action group chair Ron Dorn said the amount of time and effort put in by volunteer members, with support from Jingalla Wines, had helped lead to the success of a breeding and translocation program.
24 June 2010 Wine Cheque Hand-over - Wine Series 2009
Members and friends gathered at the Vancouver Café to receive a cheque for $3,818 from Shelley Coad of Jingalla Wines. This brings the total raised from our Potoroo wine sales, since 2002, to over $34,000.
12 June 2010 Perth Zoo Event
GPAG held an informal meeting at the Perth Zoo Homestead Barn facility. After refreshments, an overview of the formation and objectives of the group was outlined by GPAG chairman, Ron Dorn, who then went on to discuss fund raising activities and the allocation of these funds in support of the Gilbert's Potoroo Recovery Program. This was followed by a very interesting PowerPoint presentation by Dr Tony Friend, Principal Research Scientist, Department of Environment and Conservation. The audience included members from Albany, Perth-based supporters and other interested members of the public.
May 2010 Karri Valley Weekend (Group Social Event)
On a wild and wet weekend in May, fifteen members travelled to Karri Valley Resort, near Pemberton, for a weekend of socialising and relaxing. Despite the weather they managed to do the Beedelup Falls walk and enjoy the beauty of the bush and lake setting. Friday night was drinks and casserole and staying cosy and warm by the fire, while Saturday night was dinner in the restaurant over the lake.
18 May 2010 Potoroo News Updated
Visitors to our website over the last few years have been concerned to find no Potoroo News being reported. We even had queries as to whether our group and/or Gilbert's Potoroo had finally become extinct. Happily, this is not the case!
Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group is a not-for-profit organisation with no paid officers or employees and website maintenance, like all our group activites, is undertaken by our group's community volunteers, who are often distracted by more 'hands-on' volunteering.
However, we are happy to report that there has been plenty of activity by our group and significant progress with conservation actions for Gilbert's Potoroo.
We have now reviewed the last few years' news about Gilbert's Potoroo, and our group's activities, and updated this Potoroo News section.
We hope you find it interesting and informative and we will also endeavour to update other areas of our website over the coming months.
11 March 2010 Potoroos given an new home
From The Weekender, March 11, 2010:
Work is underway on the south coast to establish a new breeding colony of the world's rarest marsupial. The aim of this project is to set up a second mainland population and to begin a wider re-introduction of the species into its former mainland habitats. Seven Gilbert's potoroos were released last Friday into a fenced reserve in a remote part of Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany. The enclosure has been built in long-unburnt vegetation including some dense heathland, almost identical to the potoroo habitat at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve. Four of the potoroos, two male and two female, are from Bald Island while two males and one female are from Two Peoples Bay.
5 March 2010 New breeding colony for world's rarest marsupial
Work is under way on Western Australia's south coast to establish a new breeding colony of the world's rarest marsupial.
Environment Minister Donna Faragher said seven Gilbert's potoroos would be released today into a fenced reserve in a remote part of Waychinicup National Park, 25km east of Albany.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2009 Stories

9 Dec 2009 $1million investment into south coast nature conservation.
Environment Minister Donna Faragher today announced more than $1million State Government funding towards nature conservation projects in Western Australia's South-West and south coast regions this year, including recovery actions for the critically endangered western ground parrot and Gilbert's potoroo.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
4 Dec 2009 Volunteer Awards
The annual DEC Volunteer Award ceremony was held at the Matilda Bay Restaurant in Perth. In recognition of the work of South Coast volunteers who have made a large contribution to work on threatened mammals, including Gilbert's potoroo, certificates of appreciation were awarded to 17 people by Donna Faragher, Minister for the Environment. Fourteen of these are members of Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group.
October 2009 Cheers to the Potoroo
From R.M. Williams Outback Magazine, Issue 67 - Oct/Nov 2009, page 66: Numbers of Australia's rarest marsupial have jumped higher than in living memory and you can help conservation efforts by enjoying a tipple. This spring, there's more than one reason to drink to the health of Australia's rarest marsupial. Although there are just 60 left in existence, the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo appears to be doing better than it has in living memory, with the population almost doubling in the past few years. A new population has been established off the West Australian coast, and a third population is being started. And, in an inventive and highly successful earner for potoroo conservation efforts, Jingalla wines are being specifically labelled and sold to raise funds for the creature. So toast away!
Link to Article by Ken Eastwood for more details.
7 Sept 2009 Island digs give new life to rare potoroo
From The West Australian, September 7, 2009, page 4:
Captive breeding of Gilbert's potoroos in Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve was unsuccessful, so in 2005 conservationists moved 10 of the potoroos to nearby Bald Island, out of reach of predators such as foxes, cats and pythons. Twenty seven potoroos were now on Bald Island and several have been returned to the mainland, Dr Friend said. The four year rescue mission has cost well over $1 million and the job is not finished. The potoroo is still listed as critically endangered and is found nowhere outside this tiny pocket of WA.
27 July 2009 Vital Government funding for critically endangered species
A timely injection of funds has boosted efforts to save two of Western Australia's critically endangered species Environment Minister Donna Faragher said today.
Mrs Faragher said $60,000 of Natural Resource Management (NRM) funding would be shared by programs aiding the recovery of Gilbert's potoroo and the elusive western ground parrot.
"Both species are at risk of becoming extinct," she said.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
July 2009 Walpole weekend (Group Social Event)
Che Sara Sara Chalets, on the banks of the Frankland River northeast Walpole, were a cosy retreat and base for a breathtaking weekend of cascading rivers and boat trips. The WOW Wilderness cruise was entertaining and spectacular, sailing from the Walpole-Nornalup Inlet to Nuyts Wilderness Peninsular. Circular Pool on the Frankland River a mass of swirling froth, but did not prepare one for the spectacular cascading falls on the Deep River at Fernhook Falls, where the noise from the torrent of water was deafening.
16 June 2009 Funding fears for groups
From the Albany Advertiser, June 16, 2009, page 28:
The potoroo, noisy scrub bird and the ground parrot are just a few species just hanging on thanks to the Department of Environment and Conservation and volunteer groups' recovery efforts. Grants to preserve threatened species had been cut from the Federal Government's overhaul of funding. After gratefully receiving a cheque from Jingalla Wines' Shelley Coad from the winery's recent fundraiser, Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group Chairman, Ron Dorn, said the situation was at crisis point. He said the action groups' fundraising efforts were designed to top up DEC's activities rather than finance them. "There's a plan to create another potoroo nature reserve but the future of that is under threat because of cut-backs," Mr Dorn said. "When we started, the potoroo was on the international red list as critically endangered, with less than 50 animals, now we have a colony on Bald Island that's been very successful and a third colony waiting to start. But these areas can't self support, they need to be monitored-populations numbers can be lost as easily as they grow." Mr Dorn hoped the City of Albany would get on board and recognise the animals as a selling point for the area.
11 June 2009 Woylie back on at-risk list
From the Albany Advertiser, June 11, 2009, page 13:
Last week the tiny woylie was relisted as a threatened species because of dramatically declining local populations. The planned third potoroo sanctuary has also hit trouble as a wily feral cat population has delayed the highly endangered critters moving in. DEC researcher Dr Tony Friend said the cats caught in the fenced area were not responding to traps. "The fence is finished and all the work is done but we're still trying to remove the cats," Dr Friend said. "A month's trapping has been done but the cats are fickle so we're going to get some help for other ideas." Dr Friend said DEC had applied for natural disaster funding to properly fix the damage caused in the November storms.
16 Feb 2009 Australian Geographic funds new search for potoroos
A search for new populations of the world's most endangered marsupial, the Gilbert's potoroo, will soon be underway on Western Australia's south coast thanks to a generous fundraising effort from the Australian Geographic Society. The critically endangered quokka-like animal is known only to exist in small numbers at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve near Albany and Bald Island off the coast east of Albany. Between July and September 2008, collection boxes were placed in Australian Geographic stores around the country, resulting in $10,000 being raised and presented to the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC), which has been working to bring the Gilbert's potoroo back from the brink of extinction.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
Feb 2009 Gilbert's Potoroo translocated to new areas find their fungi
From DEC Science Division, Information Sheet 4/2009 Science Division:
Fungi largely determine the survival and breeding of potoroos because truffles are their major food. Therefore we need to be sure that potoroos translocated into new areas can find enough fungi to survive and breed. We also need to know what types of areas and vegetation may be suitable for translocations.
23 Jan 2009 Breeding scheme helping endangered potoroos
Western Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation says the survival chances of the Gilbert's potoroo have been maximised by a breeding and relocation program
Link to ABC News Online Article for full story.
22 Jan 2009 Potoroos start a new colony
From the Albany Advertiser, January 22, 2009:
Seven potoroos have been airlifted from Bald Island to start a new colony near Manypeaks. A new 380ha enclosure at Waychinicup National Park was supposed to be ready for this weeks round of trapping and monitoring but was delayed after damage from November's rain. "We're trapping for cats and the fences allow them to climb out but not back in" Dr Tony Friend from DEC said "The seven potoroos from Bald Island will be put in there and we'll probably take three from Two Peoples Bay for genetic diversity."

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2008 Stories

14 Nov 2008 Book sales help the potoroo
From the Albany Extra, November 14-20, 2008, page 3:
The sales of a locally produce book A Potoroo's Tale has given the rare and endangered Gilbert's potoroo a financial boost. Author and Illustrator Sandy O'Doherty handed over a cheque for $940 to the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group last week. She said 20 pre cent of all sales from the book went directly towards saving the rare and endangered potoroo. The book acts as an educational tool for both parents as well as children and fundraises for the important cause. Ms O'Doherty said producing the book was her way if contributing to local conservation efforts.
Sept 2008 Quaalup weekend (Group Social Event)
The wild flowers were wonderful once again at Quaalup for our social weekend in September. The whales at Point Ann put on a spectacular show with several mother and calf groups, with the calves almost seeming to play together from time to time. Saturday night's dinner was held in the Old Homestead in the light of candles and the open fire, with dancing and old time music.
24 July 2008 Breeding Like Rabbits
From the Albany Advertiser, July 24, 2008, page 2:
Albany's critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo is making a fighting comeback. Population numbers on Bald Island have increased enough to establish a second mainland population in the region. There are now more than 20 potoroos on Bald Island which is a major breakthrough considering the population was though to be extinct until it was discovered at Two Peoples Bay in 1994. "There is no threat on Bald Island except for fire, but that hasn't happened on the island for more than 100 years" Dr Friend said. But the risk of either of the two populations being wiped out by disasters such as wildfire still remains, which mean creating a second mainland population has been a high priority. A predator-proof 380ha reserve area has been established in a remote part of Waychinicup National Park, which is designed to increase the security of the species to help ensure its survival.
22 July 2008 Second mainland potoroo population to be established
There will soon be a second mainland population of the world's most endangered marsupial, the Gilbert's potoroo, with the recent completion of a fenced reserve area near Albany.
Environment and Climate Change Minister David Templeman said the predator-proof reserve area would increase the security of the species and help ensure its survival.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
21 March 2008 Winery gives potoroo group help
From the Albany Extra, March 21-27, 2008, page 2:
The critically endangered potoroo has a good chance of surviving extinction with the support it receives from Albany's nature lovers. Jingalla Wines is a major sponsor of the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group and on Monday they handed over a cheque for almost $5000 from the sale of specially labelled bottles of wine featuring the Gilbert's potoroo. Shelly Coad of Jingalla Wines said saving the potoroo was important. "We do quite a bit of community work and we believe saving the potoroo is a good cause."
Feb 2008 Treasure Island
From Albany Matters, February 2008, Vol 3 No.2, page 25
When you recover a species thought to be extinct there is no second chance. No margin for error and certainly no room for either feral animals or population growth to wipe out its last bastion. So the solution is to find the threatened animal somewhere new, somewhere safe and somewhere far, far away from all the dangers. Which is why scientists and biologists chose Bald Island, surrounded by azure seas and devoid of any feral predators-cats, foxes or wild dogs. For scientists escorting their precious cargo to the isolated island this is a groundbreaking - as well as species saving-experiment. After years of hard work in trying conditions, Dr Friend and the team are thrilled the island's potoroo population has reached at least 14. "I hope that in the next year of two we'll actually be able to take some off the island and add them to mainland numbers. A population of 20 is what we're aiming to achieve and at that stage I'll feel confident about taking them off" said Tony Friend. While the program is going well, it requires an enormous amount of dedication from the team, who travel to the island at least six times a year. They spend stints up to three weeks camping in the rough terrain. And there's no time for relaxing - the days start at first light and are spent trapping, weighing and measuring the potoroos, along with checking pouches and attaching transmitters. "It's a very hard place to work, the bush is thick. It's a one hour walk from the campsite to the work area" he says. "We often come out here in the rubber ducky - the Zodiac - and there are no beaches or jetties so we have to jump onto the rocks. So because of the weather we don't always get on or off when we want to. Sometimes people have had to stay an extra three days because the sea is too rough" said Tony Friend. "We want to create a third population in a high rainfall area between Albany and Walpole. It needs to be near the coast with granite and similar vegetation" said Dr Friend.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2007 Stories

28 Dec 2007 Telling the tale of a potoroo
From the Albany Extra, December 28, 2007 to January 3, 2008, page 4:
Young and old came out for the launch of Sandy O'Doherty's book A Potoroo's Tale at the Albany Library recently. About 120 people came to the event to buy the children's book and have it signed by the writer. Guests were even lucky enough to hear a reading of the first part of the book by Sandy and there was a surprise guest - a five foot potoroo.
20 Dec 2007 Potoroo relocated
From The Weekender, December 20, 2007:
The last Gilbert's potoroo to be relocated to Bald Island by the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) was safely set free last week. The release of the tenth potoroo marked the end of DEC's relocation program which started in 2005. The female took the official Bald Island population to14. DEC will continue to monitor the potoroos and was working towards establishing a second mainland population.
11 Dec 2007 Potoroo's tale not just a story
From the Albany Advertiser, December 11, 2007, page 7:
Local artist Sandy O'Doherty has turned Gilbert's potoroo advocate, creating a book to teach children about Australia's most endangered mammal. Sandy, well known for her painting and sculpture exhibitions, ventured into writing and illustrating to create A Potoroo's Tale. "My mum's a member of the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group and she approached me to make a book to create awareness about the potoroo among kids" Sandy said. The book tells the story of a little potoroo's quest to find a new home, meeting some colourful native animals along the way and dodging a feral fox.
23 Aug 2007 Potoroos multiply
From The Weekender, August 23, 2007, page 2:
Two more Gilbert's potoroos were released onto Bald Island, near Albany, last week. A male and a female were flown by helicopter from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve to join an existing population of nine Gilbert's potoroos. Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Principal Research Scientist Dr Tony Friend said the release was part of a larger 'Saving our Species' project to protect the potoroo from the threat of extinction.
21 Aug 2007 Gilbert's Potoroo released
From the Albany Advertiser, August 21, 2007, page 9:
Two examples of the world's most endangered marsupial, the Gilbert's potoroo, were released on Bald Island last week. The male and female were taken from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve and will join the existing population on nine Gilbert's potoroos on the island. "The two Gilbert's potoroos being translocated today will have transmitters fitted to their tails so that they can be monitored over the next few weeks to ensure they are settling in to their new home" Dr Friend said. "It is hoped that they may even lead us to more young potoroos that have been born on the island since the first translocation. There will be one more translocation this year, in December, at which time the potoroo population will incorporate a similar level of genetic variability to that found at Two Peoples Bay. This will significantly increase the security of the species, as the entire population will no longer be at risk of being wiped out by a single wildfire" Dr Friend said.
17 Aug 2007 The tiny survivor fighting against a wave of extinction
From The West Australian, Friday, August 17, 2007, page 3:
WA's appalling record of protecting its native animals is about to get worse, with researchers warning of a "possible wave of extinction" in the State's North as animals loose the battle against climate change and predators. Almost a quarter of the State's mammals have either been lost or are under threat of extinction. Most of that has occurred in the South-West and pastoral regions. There is hope for at least one species. More than 2500km south, a granite island off the Albany coast, researchers are claiming some success in their battle to protect the world's most endangered marsupial, the Gilbert's potoroo. Since August 2005, potoroos have been relocated from the mainland reserve to nearby Bald Island to establish a second population. Researchers yesterday released a young female and male onto the island, boosting the population to 11.
16 Aug 2007 Bald Island home to two more Gilbert's Potoroos
Two Gilbert's potoroos - the world's most endangered marsupial - will today be released onto Bald Island, near Albany. A male and a female will be taken from Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve on the mainland and will join an existing population of nine Gilbert's potoroos on the island.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
19 July 2007 Potoroos thrive on Bald Island
From The Weekender, July 19, 2007, pages 1 and 2:
Work to relocate an endangered marsupial to Bald Island is enjoying continued success. The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) recorded its most successful results to date during a recent Gilbert's potoroo monitoring trip to Bald Island, near Cheyenes Beach. DEC principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend said the entire known population of nine potoroos was caught. This included two potoroos which had not been located since September last year, soon after their translocation to the island. "It seems that the potoroos have resoundingly endorsed our choice of Bald Island as a translocation site" Dr Friend said "This trip in particular has established that Bald Island can support potoroos in the long term and that good survival of individuals can be expected, once they reach independence." Three of the five females on the island were found to be carrying pouch young, including the first independent island born young, discovered in September last year. All of the animals were in good health and condition.
19 July 2007 Move on the cards for rare potoroo
From The West Australian, Thursday, July 19, 2007, page 41:
Researchers plan to introduce further colonies of endangered Gilbert's potoroos on the mainland near Albany and further along the coast after the successful establishment of a second population on an island off Albany. Nine potoroos are now living on the island, with a field trip last month finding that three of the five females were carrying a young in their pouches. Department of Environment and Conservation principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend said once Bald Island's potoroo population reached 20, researchers would start moving some of the young to other locations to give the species a fighting chance in the long term. He hoped to reach that target within three years. "We're planning on doing one for the mainland, which would involve a fenced area and removal of cats and foxes," he said.
17 July 2007 Bald Island a successful breeding site
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) has recorded its most successful results to date during a recent Gilbert's potoroo monitoring trip to Bald Island, near Albany.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
24 May 2007 Wine a winner for potoroo fundraiser
From The Weekender, May 24, 2007, page 10:
The Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group continues to gain a strong support for its fund raising activities to help conserve one of Australia's most endangered mammals. The group's annual sale of specially labelled bottles of Jingalla Wines has customers waiting for the next vintage. The 2006 sale concluded recently when a cheque for $3,800 was handed over to purchase specialised equipment used by Department of Environment and Conservation scientist working on the Gilbert's potoroo recovery program.
May 2007 DEC staff and Gilbert's Potoroos to star on Italian TV
From Conservation News, May 2007, page 1, published by the Department of of Environment and Conservation:
DEC staff will star on Italian TV for their efforts in working to save the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo. The Italian nature documentary series 'Missione Natura' is watched by about six million people on one of Italy's main broadcast networks. It will focus on DEC's 'hands-on' efforts to bring the Gilbert's potoroo back from the brink of extinction. The Missione Natura crew made an overnight visit by helicopter in March to Bald Island, where Tony and DEC technical officers Stephanie Hill, Tim Button and Louisa Bell have been carrying out routine monitoring of the fledgling Gilbert's potoroo population.
12 April 2007 Progress for potoroos
From The Weekender, April 12, 2007, page 7:
Scientists have discovered the first independent young Gilbert's potoroo conceived on Bald Island. An eight month old female is surviving independently of her mother, taking known Gilbert's potoroo numbers on the island near Cheynes Beach to nine. Department of Environment and Conservation principal research scientist Tony Friend said it was a particularly exciting find given that not all young potoroos survived to the stage of being independent. "At Two Peoples Bay, where fewer than 40 Gilbert's potoroos are thought to exist in the wild, only 20-40 per cent of pouch young reach this stage," he said. "With the animals successfully breeding on Bald Island and young now surviving independently of their mothers, hopes that the island can sustain a new population have been confirmed."
13 March 2007 Italians focus in on potoroo
From the Albany Advertiser, March 13, 2007, page 5:
Australia's critically endangered potoroo has become the focus of an Italian documentary. Department of Environment and Conservation principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend said the documentary team would focus on the relocation of the marsupial to Bald Island, off Albany. The documentary will be broadcast to about six million people.
13 March 2007 Breeding program may save potoroo
From the Albany Advertiser, March 13, 2007, page 4:
Australia's most endangered mammal has a greater chance of survival after the success of a breakthrough reproductive program in Albany. The reproductive program involved transferring a young Gilbert's potoroo to the pouch of a related South Australian long-nosed potoroo. Department of Environment and Conservation principal research scientist Tony Friend said the species proved difficult to breed in captivity, so they were trying "cross-fostering". "Removing a suckling Gilbert's potoroo could trigger the mothers endocrine system to develop a second dormant fertilised egg or to stimulate mating" Dr Friend said. Two young Gilbert's potoroos were cross-fostered on November 21 2006. While one did die, Dr Friend speculates it was not a close size match for the long nosed potoroo - the other thrived with its surrogate mother. Dr Friend said the technique needed to be refined. "Among other things, we need to determine the tolerance the foster mothers have for size differences between their young and the fostered young" Dr Friend said.
8 March 2007 Good progress in potoroo program
From The Weekender, March 8, 2007, page 5:
The survival of Australia's most endangered mammal may be closer after a Gilbert's potoroo was cross-fostered for the first time recently. Department of Environment and Conservation scientists transferred a young Gilbert's potoroo to the pouch of a long-nosed potoroo, a related species common in south-eastern Australia, in an effort to increase the reproductive rate of the endangered species. DEC principal research scientist Tony Friend said the species was difficult to breed in captivity. "Two male Gilbert's potoroo young were cross-fostered in November 2006 and one has thrived in the pouch of his surrogate mother" Dr Friend said, "When he was first transferred, at one month old, he was hairless, but he is now fully furred, in and out of the pouch, gaining weight and nearly ready to survive on his own. We saw his surrogate mother search for him after they were separated during handling, and put him back in her pouch. It was really exciting to see the long-nosed potoroo accepting and nurturing the Gilbert's potoroo." Dr Friend said the technique had promise, but more work was required to refine the process. "The male that was lost was not a close size match with the long-nosed potoroo young that was removed, and that may have reduced the chance of survival," he said.
A production crew from Missione Natura, La7 TV Italy, was on Bald Island last week to film the potoroos new habitat. Dr Friend said the film makers wanted to concentrate on the translocation of the mammals to the island. The production crew focussed on the practical aspects of the job, such as tracking, releasing and tagging. "It's great to think we will reach an audience on the other side of the world, making people aware of the problems in nature conservation around the globe and highlight those projects established to solve them" Dr Friend said. Missione Natura features stories from around the world about people and the organisations they represent who work with endangered species. The series is watched by an estimated six million peoples and is made by one of Italy's main broadcast networks, LA Sette.
6 March 2007 Pouch to pouch transfer fosters hope
The survival of Australia's most endangered mammal may be a step closer after a Gilbert's potoroo was successfully cross-fostered for the first time at Albany.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
6 March 2007 Gilbert's Potoroo to feature in Italian documentary
Australia's most critically endangered mammal, the Gilbert's potoroo is starring in an Italian nature documentary currently shooting on Bald Island, off the coast of Albany. Missione Natura features stories from around the world about people and the organisations they represent who work with endangered species.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
4 Jan 2007 Endeavouring to save endangered potoroo
From Farm Weekly, Thursday, January 4, 2007, page 21: Val Hack is the treasurer of the Gilbert's potoroo Action Group, which has raised more than $18,000 in the past four years to help achieve the group's objective. "In 2002 we raised $4500 in conjunction with the Albany Environment Centre by selling Action Group-labelled bottles of wine from the Denmark based West Cape Howe Winery and a further $2075 in 2003, again with their cooperation" Val said. "Then in 2004-2005, Jingalla Wines put our name on their bottles bringing the total raised from wines sales to $11,000 for our group. We haven't got the 2006 result from Shelley Coad, Jingalla's sales manager, but it could be as high as another $3000." Sales of hats and cards raised $1500. According to Val, the group is a Nationally Registered Environmental Organisation, which offers tax-deductible donation facilities. "We are indebted to the Action group members for raising the profile of the potoroo in the general community and we depend on their financial support" said Tony Friend, principal research scientist with Department of Environment and Conservation.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2006 Stories

14 Nov 2006 Friends of the environment on show
From the Albany Advertiser, November 14, 2006:
Great Southern green groups were out in force at the Albany Agricultural Show to promote their environmental causes. Val Hack from the Gilbert's Potoroo Action group said they used the show to raise awareness and funds by selling merchandise. "We have 'Gilby' walking around and the kids love coming up. They used to say it was a mouse but now they know it's a potoroo" she said. "Lots of people come through and it gives people an insight into what's happening in the region in terms of natural resource management" SCRIPT's Wendy Cooke said.
10 Oct 2006 Potoroos thriving
From the Albany Advertiser, October 10, 2006, page 5:
Gilbert's potoroos are thriving as the recent capture of the first young born on Bald Island shows. The capture of the young indicates that the rare marsupials are flourishing in their new home. "We caught one of the young that was born earlier this year" DEC principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend said. "It was a juvenile female, but she's not reproduced yet. She weighed 630 grams - not sexually mature, but we have seen young on a female as small as 750 grams. Given the survival of all four potoroos transferred last year, their good condition and the fact that the females have produced as many young as possible in the time available, the prospects for a flourishing population on Bald Island are excellent," he said. Albany MLA Peter Watson was also pleased with the results: "it is incredibly exciting and heart warming to know that efforts in saving this beautiful animal are beginning to pay off," he said. Conservationists aim to have a population of 20 potoroos on the island by the end of 2008, through a mixture of natural breeding and by transferring four more animals from the mainland.
5 Oct 2006 Gilbert's Potoroo continue to thrive on Bald Island
The future is looking brighter for the world's most endangered marsupial Gilbert's potoroo, with the capture of the first independent young born on Bald Island off the coast near Albany.
Link to DEC News Article for full story.
Sept 2006 Quaalup weekend (Group Social Event)
A wonderful 'back to nature' weekend was held at Quaalup in September. The wildflowers on the walks around the homestead and at Point Ann were fantastic. Several whales were seen and watched for some time as the calves frolicked along side their mothers and slowly moved along the coast. Dinner on Saturday evening was held in the Old Homestead under candle light. An extremely enjoyable evening was had by all as we danced and sang to music from the 60's and 70's. Ron put on an excellent performance as he sang along to a lot of the old time songs.
5 Sept 2006 Potoroos settle into their new home
From the Albany Advertiser, September 5, 2006:
Surrounded by more media than a Hollywood red carpet, two Gilbert's potoroo were released on Bald Island on Monday. The male potoroo was desperate to get out of his bag and scampered into the bush. Shortly after he ran back to his releasers and looked them up and down before deciding to take his luck on the island and disappeared into the bushes. The female was less desperate to escape but once out of the bag, happily, happily disappeared into the scrub. "A little over a year into the project we are really happy with the progress" Department of Environment and Conservation research scientist Dr Tony Friend said. The two potoroos released on Monday join four others who've already made a home on the island. These have already successfully bred - the two females giving birth to four young between them, although it's not yet known whether the babies have survived.
25 May 2006 Proceeds of Potoroo drop
From The Weekender, May 25, 2006, page 57:
A "Good drop" of local wine is continuing to help fund the survival of Australia's rarest mammal, the Gilbert's potoroo. The Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group last week received another financial injection of $4,983 from Jingalla wines to fund the recovery program. The wine promotion, which features the Gilbert's potoroo on the label, has been a vital fundraiser for the group over the past four years. New equipment will be purchased for use by Conservation and Land Management scientists including radio-transmitters which have helped monitor the mammal. The fund-raising helps continue to boost awareness of the rare mammal.
19 April 2006 First potoroos on Bald Island
From Intersector (Magazine of the WA Public Sector), Vol 12 No. 3, 19 April 2006:
The translocation of the Gilbert's potoroo, has been hailed a success with the first potoroo bred on Bald Island Nature Reserve near Albany. CALM research scientist Dr Tony Friend, located the new-born during a routine visit to the island to monitor the animals. "During a similar monitoring visit in December, CALM scientists were only able to catch one of the three animals from the initial August release and had some concerns for their welfare" said Dr Friend. "However, the return trip last month identified that the animals from the first release were not only alive and well, but had their first young, a male, almost ready to leave the pouch." The discovery of the young male potoroo follows the birth of a newborn found in the pouch of a second female adult that was released to Bald Island in December last year.
download the magazine
25 Feb 2006 Potoroo plan pays off - twice
From The West Australian, Saturday, February 25, 2006, page 58:
A plan to expand WA's population of critically endangered Gilbert's potoroos has paid off, with two born in a small colony placed on a remote island off Albany. Department of Conservation and Land Management scientist Tony Friend said the pair, each at least a month old, were found in the pouches of two females which had been placed on Bald Island with two males.
23 Feb 2006 Potoroos Breed
From The Weekender, February 23, 2006, page 5:
The first potoroo bred on Bald Island Nature Reserve marks the successful translocation of a colony of Australia's most critically endangered mammal, the Gilbert's Potoroo. The young male potoroo (Potorous gilbertii) is the offspring of the female and one of the two males released on the Island in August last year. A return trip last month identified that the animals from the first release were not only alive and well but has their first young, a male, almost ready to leave the pouch.
16 Feb 2006 First potoroo pouch-young bred on Bald Island
The first potoroo pouch-young bred on Bald Island Nature Reserve near Albany marks the successful translocation of a colony of Australia's most critically endangered mammal, the Gilbert's potoroo.
Link to CALM News Article for full story.
16 Feb 2006 Storm Fire
From The Weekender, February 16, 2006:
A lightning Strike during a storm has been blamed for a fire which started near Mt Gardner at Two Peoples Bay on Tuesday. The department of Conservation and land Management's incident controller Greg Broomhall said intense storms across the southern coastal area started the fire around 5pm. Local bush fire brigades, CALM fire units and four water bombers were swung into action. They tackled the fire within one hour, containing it to a two-hectare area. However, the water bombers were called in again to nullify the fire on Wednesday morning. "This area contains significant populations of threatened species including critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo and the largest population of the noisy scrub-bird" Mr Broomhall said. "Other threatened species such as western whipbird, quokka and western ringtail possum can also be found in there."
Jan 2006 Delight at Gilbert's Potoroo birth
From Conservation News, January 2006, page 2, published by the Department of Conservation and Land Management:
Sheer delight accompanied the birth of a Gilbert's potoroo on a new relocation island off Albany last month. The surprise discovery of a new young potoroo in its mother's pouch was made by Senior Research Scientist, Tony Friend, just four days after the mother had been released onto Bald Island. "This young one would have been conceived while the mother, known as F100, was still in the wild on Mount Gardner. The impressive thing is that she gave birth successfully despite being captured from the wild, moved into captivity, fed on fruit and vegies for to weeks, then taken by car, small boat, and carried between four and five km up and along the island. She was then released into a strange place and had to find food and shelter. Four days later we found the young potoroo in the pouch, which was astounding" Tony said.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2005 Stories

29 Dec 2005 Potoroo baby bonus
From the Albany Advertiser, December 29, 2005, page 4:
The Department of Conservation and Land Management was shocked to discover a female Gilbert's potoroo translocated to Bald Island in early December has already given birth to the island's first young. CALM principal research scientist Tony Friend said the female, who was not known to be pregnant, was taken to the island by boat on December 7 from Mt Gardner in Two Peoples Bay, the only known colony of the critically endangered marsupials. "What has happened here is known as spontaneous animation - the female, known as "Number 100", had recently given birth on Mt Gardner and finished suckling her young just before she was taken across to the island" Dr Friend said. "She then gave birth to a second young who was conceived on Mt Gardner a few days after we had re-established her in the new habitat on Bald Island," he said. "We are pretty sure the young is a female which is a really great step towards establishing a second colony on the island - it means the genetic pool is now unexpectedly larger."
22 Dec 2005 Birth gives hope for new colony
From The Weekender, December 22, 2005:
The translocation of Gilbert's potoroo to Bald Island Nature Reserve near Albany has been a success with the birth of the first young. The surprise discovery of the young potoroo in its mothers pouch was made last week. Environment minister Judy Edwards said the tiny potoroo, about 15mm long, was found in the pouch of a female which had been released on the island a day or two earlier. "It was very surprising the mother gave birth, given the disruptions of being transported and released in a new environment" she said "This is very promising for the future existence of the species in this environment, because if the young potoroo, believed to be a female, survives to maturity, it will increase the breeding gene pool of the island's potoroo population."
14 Dec 2005 Bald Island potoroo population growing
The translocation of the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo to Bald Island Nature Reserve near Albany has resulted in the birth of the first young on the island.
Link to CALM News Article for full story.
7 Oct 2005 Potoroos left on island to produce second colony
From the Albany Extra, October 7-13, 2005, page 3:
After being monitored by CALM for almost two months, three Gilbert's potoroos have been left on their own at Bald Island to produce a second colony. "The next Gilbert's potoroo sent to Bald Island will be a female taken from the wild sometime before Christmas" Dr Tony Friend said. Dr Friend thanked Albany based volunteers who camped out with researchers on the island over the two month monitoring process. "The support of Bev Davis, Val Hack and Neil Hogstrom was what enabled us to stay on the island for so long," he said.
Sept 2005 Donnelly River Weekend (Group Social Event)
A former mill settlement in the Karri forest was the destination for our social weekend away when 12 members and friends stayed at the 'big house'. There were plenty of walks to be taken in the forest and the Saturday morning walk in the gently falling rain was enjoyable and very exhilarating. Songs (especially about woylies) were sung around the indoor wood fire and also the barbecue where several kangaroos joined us.
17 Sept 2005 Endangered potoroos doing fine in their new home
From ABC Online http://www.abc.net.au/wa/stories/s1462229.htm:
Last month, three Gilbert's Potoroos were taken from the mainland and placed on Bald Island near Albany on Western Australia's south coast. They're doing fine and soon may be joined by another female. Which presumably will make the odd male out in the group feel more welcome. Dr Tony Friend, principal research scientist with the Department of Conservation and Land Management, is overseeing the project and he's very happy though a little surprised that the group is doing do well. Normally, he says, relocated animals will lose weight as they adjust to their new surroundings and seek out the new food sources. Tony plans to catch another female and send it to Bald Island around December but it will depend on whether that can be done without disturbing the existing population. The female on Bald Island has already chosen her mate and again, that choice was a surprise. Tony had expected one of the males to be on the outer but not the one who was spurned. That male was one who had been on the island before and was older. Being more experienced, it was thought he'd win the female's heart. Potoroos are very social animals, says Tony. They share the same nest throughout the year unlike other marsupials which will only pair up for mating. Even the male on the outer sticks close to the pair, never being more than 100m away.
9 Sept 2005 Endangered species new home
From The West Australian, Country Annual Show Supplement, September 9, 2005:
A new colony of one of Australia's most endangered mammals is continuing to thrive after being airlifted to an island off the coast of Albany. "Bald Island was selected because it is in the same areas as Mt Gardner where they were found in 1994" Dr Friend said "We have been searching for a suitable place for years, and an island was preferable. There are no predators, with the only other animals a colony of quokkas" Dr Friend said. A wildfire that swept through Mt Manypeaks in December last year gave impetus to the search, with fears a similar fire on Mt Gardner could wipe out the species.
Sept 2005 New home for Australia's most endangered mammal
From Peter Watson's Albany Report, September 2005 Edition
The state government has established another colony of Gilbert's potoroo on Bald Island Nature Reserve. Earlier this month, I had the great pleasure of assisting CALM staff in moving two of the potoroos to their new home. The move is great news for the conservation of the species and further enhances Albany region's reputation as a centre of conservation excellence. This latest initiative involving Gilbert's potoroo is a positive step forward in conserving the species. It reflects the dedication of CALM staff and the community based Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group.
12 Aug 2005 Potoroo trio are hope of species
From The West Australian, August 12, 2005:
Scientists are hoping one female and two male specimens of Australia's most endangered marsupial, Gilbert's potoroo, will kick start a new population of the rare species on an island getaway near Albany. This week the trio of potoroos were fitted with transmitters, wrapped around their tails with elastoplasts, and released on Bald Island, about 1km off the south coast, where it is hoped that they will start a new colony. Two CALM scientists, who would remain on the island for a month, would make daily checks on the potoroos' weight and breeding behaviour.
11 Aug 2005 CALM makes special delivery to Bald Island
From The Weekender, August 11, 2005:
CALM has gone to great lengths establishing a new population of the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo. It airlifted three potoroos - two males and one female - by helicopter to Bald Island Nature Reserve east of Albany on Tuesday. The mammals will be monitored closely for the next month. The three animals were fitted with activity-sensing tail transmitters and will be monitored daily for four to six weeks. Dr Friend was joined by CALM technical officers Stephanie Hill and Tim Button. They will camp on the desolate island in the first week and then be assisted by volunteers.
11 Aug 2005 Potoroos deserted to ensure survival
From the Albany Advertiser, August 11, 2005, page 2:
After a helicopter ride to their new home on Bald Island, three Gilbert's potoroo have been left to produce a second colony of the critically endangered marsupials. Two males and one female Gilbert's potoroo set off from Two Peoples Bay with the Department of Conservation and Land Management Recovery Team last Tuesday in an effort to save the species. Researchers anticipate breeding of two young a year, with females able to produce young four to six weeks after mating, followed by three to four months in the pouch. Dr Friend said Bald Island was chosen as the new habitat for the Gilbert's potoroo after trial relocation with a male and female during February and March proved successful. "The trial showed there is sufficient food available on the island of 800ha, with a 300m altitude during even the driest months" Dr Friend said. "When the potoroos are recaptured if they are maintaining weight, they will be left on the island as founders of a new population" Dr Friend said. "Then up to 10 Gilbert's potoroo will be moved to Bald Island in three annual releases," he said. Recovery Team technical officer Stephanie Hill said team members will camp out on Bald Island during the monitoring stages of the relocation. "The team consists of Tony and me, fellow CALM officer Tim Button, and Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group volunteers Bev Davis, Val Hack and Neil Hogstrom" Ms Hill said.
12 July 2005 Perth Zoo
An information night was held at Perth Zoo Lecture Theatre with a talk by GPAG Chairman, Ron Dorn and then an outline of the current status of the Gilbert's potoroo by Dr Tony Friend. This was followed by supper and socialising
July 2005 The Australian Mammal Conference was held in Albany WA
Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group set up an information and display stand at the Town Hall venue. Brochures were handed out and cards and calico bags were on sale. There was a lot of interest shown and several new members were made.
24 May 2005 Bald Island - Possible home for Gilbert's Potoroos
From Conservation News, May 2005, page 5, published by the Department of Conservation and Land Management:
The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) has begun a trial translocation of Gilbert's potoroos to Bald Island to gather information on the ability of the species to survive in a different environment and eventually to create a second viable population. CALM Research Scientist Dr Tony Friend and his team translocated one male and one female to the Island four weeks ago. The trial involves monitoring their movements and condition to determine whether the environment can support the species. The animals have been fitted with activity-sensing tail transmitters and CALM researchers have been monitoring them by daily radio tracking and occasional trapping. Their diet on the island will be determined by analysis of faecal samples. At the end of the six week trial, the animals will be recaptured and removed from the island.
21 April 2005 Picture-perfect home for potoroo painting
From The Weekender, April 21, 2005:
A painting produced to raise funds for the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group has found a picture perfect home in Mt Barker. Kevin and Kathy Collins from Banksia Farm were successful bidders in the silent auction for the water colour by Jann van der Helder. "We were keen to purchase such a lovely painting because we have a fine art gallery at our property and wanted to display this and promote our little marsupials" Mr Collins said. The auction raised over $400 for the cause. Mrs Van der Helder was a volunteer on the 2004 potoroo tracking project.
19 April 2005 Island could be new home for potoroos
From the Albany Advertiser, April 19, 2005:
Bald Island could become a long-term home to the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo following a recent successful translocation experiment. The Department of Conservation and Land Management held the trial translocation of a male and female potoroo in a bid to boost the population of the species which is fewer than 40. The trial involved monitoring the potoroos movements and condition to determine if the species could survive in a different environment so eventually a second viable population could survive. CALM research scientist Dr Tony Friend said both potoroos lost weight but they were back at their release weight when the trial had finished.
24 March 2005 Bald Island - possible new home for Gilbert's Potoroos
Environment Minister Judy Edwards today released details of a bold scientific plan which is attempting to secure and increase the population and status of the critically endangered Gilbert's potoroo (Potorous gilbertii).
Link to CALM News Article for full story.

Return to Top of News Headlines Return to Top of Page/ Menu

2004 Stories

18 Nov 2004 Twertup weekend (Group Social Event)
From the Weekender Trader, November 18, 2004:
Members enjoyed a mystic weekend away at the Twertup field study centre in the western end of Fitzgerald River National Park. The spongolite walls of the cottage and the spongolite quarry were very intriguing. The spectacular sunset on Friday night was almost beyond belief as the western sky looked as though it was alight as the sun descended. Bev and Val walked the 14 kms to Roe's Rock on Saturday and made sure they were back in time for the evening barbecue.
21 Oct 2004 Top drop aids potoroo research
From The Weekender, October 21, 2004:
Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group chairperson Ron Dorn handed over a cheque for $5,695 to Dr Tony Friend for purchase of a digital camera system. This will be used with a compound microscope in the CALM laboratory at Albany for mammal hair ID and fungal spore identification.
27 Sept 2004 10th Anniversary wine release
The 10th Anniversary of the rediscovery of Gilbert's potoroo was celebrated with a specially labelled Port as part of the annual fund-raising wine event featuring Jingalla premium wines.
June 2004 Endangered potoroo receives funding boost
From the Southern Prospects Review, Issue 26, June 2004, published by South Coast Regional Initiative Planning Team (SCRIPT) Inc.:
GPAG has received a funding boost from an unexpected source. The Blue Mountains Grammar School at Wentworth in NSW held their annual charity walk in November and raised $1741. Joey Clarke, who was a year 9 student at the school last year, suggested that proceeds from the annual walk go towards the critically endangered Gilbert's Potoroo. The money helped buy tail transmitters for a tracking expedition at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve in February. The expedition led by CALM scientists and involving 23 volunteers from Albany, Walpole, Perth and Scotland, followed the activities of six Gilbert's potoroos on Mt Gardner for two weeks. The volunteers monitored radio signals nightly from 3pm to 3am, in three six hour shifts. The data from the expedition provided information about habitat use, interactions and home ranges of the potoroos. This will be vital for the establishment of new populations and in planning reintroductions.
8 June 2004 Gilbert's Potoroo brochure release
From the Albany Advertiser, June 8, 2004:
North Albany Senior High School digital media students (Murray Trueman and Kate Hoskin) used their skills they had learnt in the classroom to help GPAG design an information brochure on Gilbert's potoroo. The brochure was funded by a grant from Lotterywest of $1,674.
May 2004 Perup Weekend (Group Social Event)
We arrived at Perup just after dark and could hear a lot of rustling in the shrubs as we found our way to Wilderness Lodge. It was a chilly night and a welcoming warmth was felt from the wood fire as we entered the main social area. Possums were almost our constant companions during our stay as they checked out our barbecue and later entered the kitchen through a small hole in the fly screen. One possum was found to be sleeping in the old disused stove. Several possums were seen when we went on a spotlight walk later in the evening. We checked out the many walks around the area, one being the bandicoot scoot around the lowlands. Tammar wallabies were seen from the 'hide' as well as many other places on the walks.
14 Apr 2004 CALM thanks Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group
On 5 April the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) put out a press release thanking the efforts of the Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group in helping conserve Australia's most endangered marsupial. CALM Executive Director Keiran McNamara said the Gibert's Potoroo Action Group played an important role in assisting CALM in research and recovery actions for the species, which was only found at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve, 35 kilometres east of Albany on the State's south coast. Full press release online here.
14 Apr 2004 GPAG Donates $2000 to buy radio transmitters.
Because Gilbert's Potoroos are nocturnal, timid and live in dense undergrowth, observing them in the wild is extremely difficult. To obtain more information about the activity and habits of the potoroos, radio tracking is used to monitor their movements and GPAG learned that new radio transmitters were urgently needed to continue this work. On 22 January, GPAG made a donation of $2000 to CALM, to cover the purchase of eight new tail transmitters. The donation from the Blue Mountains Grammar School (see story below) made up a substantial portion of this donation).
In February CALM scientists, assisted by 23 volunteers (including a number of GPAG members), carried out a two week radio tracking expedition, following the activities of a group of six Gilbert's Potoroos on the northern slopes of Mt. Gardner. Working from four radio tracking stations positioned around the colony, with a volunteer manning each station for a 6 hour shift, the potoroos were tracked through the night, from 3pm to 9am each day. By day, back at the research centre, the volunteers would enter the previous night's data into the computer.
CALM scientists are now analysing this data, which will give valuable information about the potoroos' behaviour.
14 Apr 2004 Blue Mountains Grammar School Fundraiser.
Last year Joey Clarke, then a year 9 student at Blue Mountains Grammar School in NSW, decided that he wanted to help Gilbert's Potoroo so, as a fundraiser, he organised 30 of his school mates to walk and run 45km in 10 hours. The fundraiser was a great success and raised $1741.68!, which was then donated to Gilbert's Potoroo Action Group. The funds were later put to very good use when GPAG donated funds for CALM to buy new radio transmitters to track the activities of Gilbert's Potoroos in the wild (see story above). Teacher Steve Wilkes sent us this photo of some of the walkers (Joey is 2nd from the right).
GPAG would like to thank Joey and his fellow walkers for this outstanding effort.
12 Mar 2004 GPAG website is now online.
Well, it's taken a little longer than we anticipated but our website is finally online. To all who have previously checked our web address to only find our pageholder - thanks for your patience. We still have a few areas under construction, so please bear with us as we finish these off. We have tried to make our site a comprehensive resource for anyone with an interest in Australia's Rarest Mammal so please bookmark the site and re-visit at your leisure.