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Rescuing the chuditch

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Ever heard of a chuditch? Judging by the species’ huge natural range, which includes every mainland state, it should to most Australians be as familiar as the emu or koala. But, unless you live near Perth, you’re unlikely to have ever heard of this charismatic little spotted marsupial.

The chuditch is another of those ‘small-to-medium-sized’ mammals that only occurs in Australia but has been almost completely wiped out during the past 200 years. The species’ natural distribution has been reduced by more than 90 per cent since European settlement and its last remaining natural strongholds are a handful of isolated populations south of Perth. 

A few limited translocations early this century saw the chuditch re-introduced to SA, although it remains endangered there. And the species continues to be either extinct or presumed extinct in NT, NSW, Queensland, and Victoria. 

After a decade of planning, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) last year carried out the first of five planned translocations to Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, 350km north-east of Perth, of animals caught from a remnant wild chuditch populations near Perth. It was the start of an ambitious plan that could, hopefully, one day lead to the species being re-established across much of its former range.


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