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Media Release
Senator the Hon Robert Hill
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Minister for the Environment

Help for Shark Bay's Disappearing Species

30 June 1997

The Howard Government has provided $490 000 to fund crucial work to conserve threatened native animals in Western Australia's Shark Bay World Heritage area.

Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill says the 1996-97 funding is a substantial increase on the $169 000 provided by the previous Labor Government in the World Heritage area last financial year.

The funding will contribute to reintroducing and monitoring populations of four endangered species and to improving visitor information services and facilities at Shark Bay located 400 kilometres north of Perth.

"One of the main reasons Shark Bay is included in the World Heritage List is that it is home to five of Australia's endangered mammals, including the Shark Bay Mouse.

"The Commonwealth is providing funding to help protect and increase populations of three of these species on Peron Peninsula: the Banded Hare-wallaby, Western Barred Bandicoot and Mala (Rufous Hare-wallaby).

"The work will be part of Project Eden, an initiative of the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management which aims to eradicate feral animals from the peninsula and reintroduce locally extinct native animals.

"Funding is also being provided to monitor the endangered Loggerhead Turtle during its nesting time and to study and interpret dugong behaviour.

"This research will be used to develop management strategies to protect these two species in the region.

"Several studies into the marine environment of Shark Bay, centering on Monkey Mia, also are being funded to assess possible adverse impacts and any necessary actions needed to ensure these areas are protected.

"As Shark Bay attracts a growing number of visitors from throughout Australia and the world, both conservation work and visitor facilities need to be addressed.

"This funding will enable visitors to enjoy the Shark Bay World Heritage area knowing that its internationally-significant natural values are being protected."

Contact: Julie Marks (Senator Hill's office) 06 277 7640 or 0419 693 515

Noel Pratt (Australian Heritage Commission) 06 217 2117

30 June 1997

Commonwealth of Australia