Rabu, 20 Agustus 2014

Rare rat a golden find in the Kimberley (AAP)

Hidden cameras have revealed new populations of rats living on two islands in the Kimberley, but conservationists couldn't be happier.

The rodents were detected during an 18-day wildlife survey on Lacrosse Island and the adjacent mainland site Buckle Head, where the threatened golden-backed tree rat was sited.

The tree rat, which has a distinctive chestnut-gold stripe along its back, was thought to only occur on nine other islands in the region.

Other animals recorded included the common rock rat, which was found on both islands, and the water rat on Lacrosse Island.

Environment Minister Albert Jacob said a healthy population of the endangered northern quoll found on Buckle Head followed the discovery late last year of a new population of the animal on Molema Island.

Mr Jacob said a bandicoot was also detected in the area, but whether it was the threatened golden bandicoot or the more common northern brown bandicoot was yet to be determined

"Scientists also uncovered a collection of chewed Owenia nuts that they suspected had been deposited by the endemic scaly-tailed possum," Mr Jacob said.

"The possums managed to elude their traps but a scaly-tailed possum was later identified on camera."


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