The Road to Recovery
Since Project Eden began, the populations of many local and reintroduced animals have increased markedly. Species such as the sand goanna, thorny devil, woma python, thick-billed grasswren, echidna, emu, malleefowl and bilby are sighted on a regular basis. You too may be lucky enough to see a reintroduced animal, or spot something unusual; if so Project Eden would love to hear from you
Australia has no native hoofed animals. The cattle, sheep and goats introduced by the European pastoralists tore apart Peron Peninsula’s fragile soils and stripped or uprooted vegetation, degrading natural habitat. Since the removal of more than 30,000 head of stock, much of the vegetation and habitat has recovered. Acacia shrubs in particular have grown much more densely, and seedlings now get the chance to mature, without thousands of hungry mouths ripping them out as soon as they appear.
Delicate annuals, creepers and grasses that were favoured succulent foods for stock, are now making a slow comeback in the park, helping keep the dry soil together in summer and shrouding the bush in colourful flowers in spring.
Peron Peninsula 1992
Satellite image taken before most stock was
removed from the peninsula.
Peron Peninsula 2002
After a decade without stock the recovery to the
vegetation on the peninsula is obvious.
Since feral animal control began in the early 1990s, mammal and reptile populations have increased. Before 1995, echidnas were rarely seen on the Peron Peninsula. Now the adults and young are regularly sighted, and you can see their tracks all over the national park. Many species of lizard have increased both in physical size and number. Look out for lots of racehorse goannas, bobtail skinks, thorny devils and bearded dragons basking on the roads in summer. The threatened woma python has been breeding well, with many juveniles and adults seen on roads and tracks. Now that predation pressure has eased, populations of native mice and dunnarts can increase more rapidly after good rains, when there is plenty of food. Even larger fauna such as euros (a type of kangaroo) and emus are benefiting from reduced predation on their joeys and chicks.