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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    QPWS rangers play a role in catching endangered species on camera

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Friday, February 17, 2017

    QPWS rangers play a role in catching endangered species on camera

    A small endangered species named the northern bettong has been spotted on a camera in the Mount Lewis National Park in far north Queensland for the first time in 10 years.

    Minister for Environment and National Parks Dr Steven Miles said the news is very exciting for the future of this species.

    “We certainly hope to see more positive images like this one in the coming months as the Queensland Government has been focusing on the northern bettong,” Dr Miles said.

    “Rangers from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service installed the cameras in the National Park.

    “Rangers also retrieved the cameras and assisted in going through thousands of photographs taken by the cameras as part of the Northern Bettong Project.

    “Conservation Operations officers from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have also contributed to the project, researching and developing guidelines with the Park Service to inform appropriate fire management regimes to benefit the species.”

    The project is part of a collaboration between WWF, James Cook University and the Queensland Government.

    “Until this result, the status of the Mt Lewis National Park population was uncertain and the species was known only to be remaining in small area west of Cairns, a fraction of its former range,” Dr Miles said.

    “The re-discovery of another separate population however small provides a small glimmer of hope that the species will have a greater chance of persisting into the future.

    “Indigenous groups and local community members are also partners in the project. Funding has been provided by a grant from the Australian Government’s Caring for Our Country initiative.

    “The delicately-built rat-kangaroo about the size of a rabbit appears to be entirely reliant on habitat in the wet tropics, the quality of which is heavily reliant on the application of fire at the right times.

    “Unfortunately several threats continue to affect existing populations including loss of habitat, food source availability and predation from feral animals.

    “The Queensland Government is committed to managing fire and controlling pests on national parks and other lands under its jurisdiction, placing a high priority on the conservation on protected plants and animals.

    “In 2016-2017, QPWS has budgeted almost $8.5 million on pest management activities in our parks and forests.

    “I would like to congratulate those involved as they put in so much time and effort into this project,” Dr Miles said.

    ENDS

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