Woodland Reserve is Whiteman Park’s premier conservation program, providing a world class breeding facility for rare and endangered fauna of the state, including the critically endangered woylie.
Encompassing over 200 hectares of natural woodlands, Woodland Reserve is a specially designed, electrified predator-proof facility located to the north of the Park’s Village precinct.
It provides protection for those species deemed most vulnerable to decline and is being restored to reflect its pre-European settlement (pre-Swan River Colony) condition. The project is one of Whiteman Park’s major conservation initiatives, funded by the Western Australian Planning Commission, and is a protected sanctuary, free of introduced predators.
Our primary aim is to facilitate the translocation and breeding of a number of native species that are no longer found in the area, such as the critically endangered woylie, as well as those whose survival is threatened, such as the tiny honey possum.
This environmental icon allows visitors an opportunity to see scores of native animals at close range, and all within a 25 minute drive from the Perth CBD.
Since the initial introduction of eight woylies (Bettongia penicillata) and a number of quenda (Isoodon obesulus) in 2010 marked the beginning of this high calibre conservation program, numbers have increased steadily.
Three species have been reintroduced to the area:
Woylie – The brush-tailed bettong (Bettongia penicillata) has declined dramatically in the wild, and is listed as critically endangered.
Tammar wallaby – Another species that has suffered a dramatic decline in the wild, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii derbianus) is listed as ‘conservation dependant’ in Western Australia.
Bush stone-curlew – Also known as a Bush Thick-knee (Burhinus grallarius) the bush-stone curlew was ranked as a ‘Near Threatened C’ Australian bird in 2010.
Planned reintroductions of plant and animal species which are presently extinct or in decline within the Reserve will provide a significant contribution to the protection and management of Australian biodiversity as a whole.
The vision for Woodland Reserve is to create a ‘Coastal Plain landscape containing the natural complement of biodiversity, to be sustained in perpetuity’.
Our main focus is to maintain genetically viable populations, to ensure they retain a high conservation value for their species.
Whiteman Park is alive with native fauna, inhabiting vast expanses of remnant Banksia woodland. Marri and Jarrah trees grace the dunes of the Bassendean Sands, interspersed with Paperbark and Eucalypt lined damp lands.
Management of remaining tracts of natural bushland, in conjunction with the rehabilitation of degraded areas, is enriching the biodiversity values of the Park, including our primary conservation project, Woodland Reserve.
Over 400 species of plants and 140 vertebrate species have been identified within Whiteman Park, including a number of endangered and rare species. These include the southern brown bandicoot, honey possum, ashy grey mouse and native water rat.
Habitat protection is the primary focus of Woodland Reserve, as a key element in retaining and supporting wildlife communities. Woodland Reserve encompasses three habitat types of the Swan Coastal Plain: melaleuca damplands, Banksia woodlands and vast open heathland.
Banksia species are an essential component of the habitat of the Reserve, as they supply nectar to a wide array of bird species as well as the unique honey possum population. Follicles of this species, in conjunction with fruits from hakea and eucalypts, also provide significant food sources for the threatened Carnaby’s Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris).
A tour of the Woodland Reserve is like no other. If you’d like a chance to encounter the endangered woylie and observe their nocturnal behaviour, along with other unique native mammals, on one of our Nocturnal Woylie Walks, check out What’s On for upcoming tour dates.
In addition to the habitat protection and species renewal, Woodland Reserve is important for its role in promoting awareness of the plight of our native mammals.
It allows the wider community the opportunity to appreciate the importance of regional biodiversity, offering a precinct in which visitors can enjoy and learn of the ecology of the Banksia woodland habitat. Its proximity to the Whiteman Park Village makes the Reserve easily accessible for young and old, allowing all family members to experience the woodland wonderland.