Project Eden – recreating Shark Bay’s natural ecosystem
In 1801, when French explorers Nicholas Baudin and François Péron visited Shark Bay, 23 species of mammals were present. By 1990 fewer than half that number remained. Predation by introduced foxes and cats, habitat destruction and competition for food by stock and rabbits had driven many native animals to local extinction.
Project Eden is a bold conservation project launched by CALM (now DPaw) that aims to turn back the tide of extinction and ecological destruction in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. The project began in 1991 with the removal of feral animals so that some lost wildlife, like the bilby, could return to Eden. Project Eden is currently entering its next phase with the return to 1616 project on Dirk Hartog Island.
Bilby - © DEC/Babs and Bert Wells
Project Eden staff have collaborated with DPaW colleagues from elsewhere in the state, and with other government and non-government agencies in Australia and overseas to contribute to improved knowledge of the ecology and behaviour of many of the species the Project is involved with.
In addition, the Project has provided resources and support to numerous university student investigations, including studies into the physiology and metabolic balance of the mala and banded hare-wallaby, and various investigations into disease and genetic diversity of several species such as the bilby and western barred bandicoot in both captive and wild populations.
These cooperative efforts and Project Eden’s integrated, whole ecosystem approach to management is helping us gain a better understanding of the complex interactions between climate, vegetation, predators and prey that control this arid environment. Read on for more!
Feral Animal Control
Download Project Eden’s brochure here