New survey to protect Greater Bilbies in the Pilbara

Media release
More will be understood about greater bilby (Macrotis lagotis) populations in the Pilbara through a new partnership between the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Budadee Aboriginal Corporation, consultants Terra Rosa, and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
Last updated: 11 September 2023

Upon completion of survey efforts, Budadee will deliver the Tharra Fauna Report describing bilby populations and identifying a suite of long-term management actions that can then be implemented in future years on the Tharra portion of at Tharra Karnparnmana Aboriginal Reserve. The survey to be undertaken during the 2023 Pilbara winter will be the first step in collecting a baseline of data and identification of primary threatening processes.

The project is funded by the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund, which aims to deliver environmental offsets in the Pilbara through a strategic landscape-scale approach.

“The project will be delivered by the Budadee Aboriginal Rangers and their consultants Terra Rosa, with technical support from DBCA,” DWER Senior Project Officer Adrienne Sanders said.

“Partnering with local people, particularly Traditional Owners, to collaboratively deliver conservation projects provides opportunities for training, decision‑making and management of Country over the long term.”

The department works closely with Traditional Owners and regional land managers to design projects that build on regional programs and draw on the capacity of Aboriginal ranger groups, so that environmental offset outcomes are greater than the sum of individual offset contributions.

“Tharra Karnparnmana Aboriginal Reserve lies on the native title determinations of the Palyku (Tharra, southern section) and Kariyarra (Karnparnmana, northern section) people.

“The reserve is also an excellent location for environmental offset projects as it has a high number of environmental matters required to be offset, an active Aboriginal Ranger team, and is protected from development, Ms Sanders said.

This will be the first on-ground project delivered through the Fund that relates to a species listed as a Matter of National Environmental Significance under the Commonwealth Environment Protection Biodiversity Act 1999. The project aims to deliver outcomes for threatened species whilst aligning with Traditional Owner aspirations in caring for their Country. The final report will be made available via the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund website.

The Fund combines money from individual offset payments required under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (EP Act), and contributions required under Part 9 or 10 of the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The Fund must deliver projects that result in ecological outcomes, which counterbalance the significant residual environmental impacts of development in the Pilbara bioregion.