Thirty-six dibblers, one of Australia’s rarest marsupials, were released into the wild at Dirk Hartog Island National Park.

The dibblers, which were born at Perth Zoo, were released as part of the ‘Return to 1616’ ecological restoration project.

Reece Whitby, WA Environment Minister, said the release was an exciting milestone for the project and one worth celebrating.

“As dibblers are an endangered species, every individual animal released back into safe habitat makes a big difference to the future of the species.

“I’d like to commend scientists and zookeepers at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions who are working hard to create and maintain feral cat free sanctuaries that support our native species and ensure they can thrive for generations to come.”

In total, 93 dibblers have been released on the island and while they can prove difficult to monitor, there is evidence of successful breeding amongst the previously released dibblers.

Since the commencement of the project, scientists have translocated banded hare-wallabies, Shark Bay bandicoots, dibblers, rufous hare-wallabies, Shark Bay mice, and greater stick-nest rats.