Good news and bad for fauna at Uluru

A sign of good conditions, a native rat never previously recorded in the park, has been found at Uluru.

A sign of good conditions, a native rat never previously recorded in the park, has been found at Uluru

Small mammals are flourishing at Uluru following above average rainfall during the last 12 months which has produced the best environmental conditions since 2002.

This year, a species never before recorded in the park was discovered —Rattus villosisimus, a cute native rat that responds to good conditions by rapidly expanding its territory — travelling all the way from Alice Springs!

There is a new population of brush-tailed mulgara, a rare species that until this year has been known from just one area of the park. The new population is living in the east of the park, at least 15 kilometres from their cousins!

Designed by natural heritage officer Jim Clayton this trap has caught 21 cats at Uluru since April.

Designed by natural heritage officer Jim Clayton, this trap has caught 21 cats at Uluru since April.

Unfortunately the good conditions also see a boom in vertebrate pests with foxes and rabbits as well as feral cats on the increase. So it’s a good thing that a new cat and fox trap being trialled in the park is showing early signs of success with 21 cats caught since April around the Uluru monolith, an area of high biodiversity, and the borefields, known habitat for threatened species.

Kerrie, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

 

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