Translocation of captive-bred dibblers Parantechinus apicalis (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) to Escape Island, Western Australia
The introduction of threatened marsupials to islands affords a high degree of translocation success due to the lack of exotic species on islands, or the feasibility of eradicating them. The dibbler Parantechinus apicalis is a small marsupial endemic to the southwest of Australia. It is listed under international and national legislation as Endangered, and has been the focus of a successful conservation strategy to introduce captive-bred individuals to an island as a security measure, and as part of a formal Interim Recovery Plan. A total of 88 individuals were released in four groups on Escape Island from 1998 to 2000. The population was monitored using radiotelemetry and trapping techniques from 1998 to 2001. Breeding and dispersal of young occurred within the first year of release. Three years after the initial release, the third generation of wild-born dibblers had entered into the population. The total cost of this translocation exercise approximated $AUS 0.6 million. The conservation effort to give additional security to dibblers has been successful, at least in the short term, due to the collaboration between four organisations and a commitment to support a monitoring program of the released population over time.