WA's Most Threatened

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from The West

WA's most endangered animals have for the first time been ranked according to their likelihood of extinction.

The list compiled for The West Australian by the newly formed Threatened Species Council reveals how close some animals are to being lost for ever.

The rankings look at population size and the likelihood of survival based on threats from predators, disease and the encroachment of urban sprawl on habitats.

Frogs, turtles, birds and mammals all feature on the list of 16 animals, with the Gilbert's potoroo, which is found only on the south coast, ranked as the species most likely to disappear, with fewer than 100 left in the wild.

Native fish dying in lakes

Classifications from critically endangered through to vulnerable are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature rankings.

Environment Minister Donna Faragher established the council to address the near-600 threatened species of flora and fauna around WA.

She said several WA agencies were conducting research into endangered species and the council would help make their work more effective.

"There are a range of reasons why we have species that are threatened, whether it is through habitat loss, feral pests or disease, we don't always know all of the science behind it and that is why we need these agencies to be doing that research," she said.

Mrs Faragher said there was no guarantee that the species on the list would be around in 10 years, but her department and other agencies had made a significant commitment towards ensuring they were.

Department of Environment and Conservation director-general Keiran McNamara, who chairs the council, said monitoring the abundance of many species on the list was often difficult because of their small size, low numbers, and cryptic behaviour.

Mr McNamara said fox-baiting had helped some threatened species but in some cases it let cats in as predators.

Last Updated on Sunday, 10 June 2012 17:47