26 September 2023

NPWS acts to save rare Barrington Tops rats

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The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has refuted a social media post claim that it supported the trapping and collection of threatened broad-toothed rats from within the Barrington Tops National Park.

In a statement, NPWS said the post made by Aussie Ark, a private organisation, suggested the collection from the World Heritage listed National Park was undertaken in partnership with the NSW Government.

“This is incorrect,” NPWS said.

“The collection of a threatened species from a national park is permitted only in limited circumstances, including where authorised under the NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act) and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974 (NPW Act),” it said.

“The NPWS has directed an investigation into alleged offences under the BC Act and the NPW Act following reports of the capture and taking of a threatened species from a World Heritage listed National Park.”

NPWS said that following the social media post of 12 May, its compliance officers had seized 135 traps that were discovered in the National Park.

The Service said the matter may also be referred to the Commonwealth to consider whether any breaches of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) had occurred.

“The broad-toothed rat is listed as vulnerable (threatened) under both the BC Act and the EPBC Act,” it said.

“The broad-toothed rat population in Barrington Tops was impacted by the 2019–20 bushfires, and NPWS is supporting its recovery through intensive feral animal control and targeted measures to reduce future risks.”

On its website, Aussie Ark said it was a registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-profit Commission.

The ACNC Charity Register advised PS News that it has no record of a charity with the name Aussie Ark, however, the Charity Register shows there is a charity with the ABN 51 417 871 203 on the Charity Register with the name Australia’s Wildlife Ark Incorporated.

This charity lists its website as aussieark.org.au

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