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Endangered species makes WA island home

AAP logoAAP 10/10/2016 Rebecca Gredley

The population of WA's endangered marsupial dibblers has been expanded with 35 released on Gunton Island off West Australia's south coast.

The small carnivorous marsupials were bred at Perth Zoo before being taken to the feral predator-free island.

Dibblers were believed extinct until 1967 when they were rediscovered at Cheyne Beach, east of Albany.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said camera monitoring showed promising signs the dibblers released last year were doing well.

"Scientists trapped a male that had put on considerable weight since being released, which indicates there is sufficient food," he said.

"There are just five established populations of dibblers elsewhere in Western Australia, of which four comprise less than 50 animals each, so this captive breeding and release program is vitally important for the long-term survival of the species in the wild."

The release was co-ordinated by Department of Parks and Wildlife principal research scientist Dr Tony Friend.

Last October, 29 dibblers were released at Gunton Island, followed by 12 more in April this year.

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