We’ve never met anyone who doesn’t love a Numbat.
This beautiful little marsupial – our State Emblem – sadly, is highly endangered, with only around 1000 remaining in the wild. Foxes, wild cats, and the razing of habitat have all played their part in wiping out most of these unique animals, once abundant in southern Australia.
Since 1986 Perth Zoo has had a Numbat breeding program try to help prevent it from becoming extinct.
And now one iconic WA company, Margaret River Chocolate Factory, has come up with a delicious way to help raise awareness of the Numbat, and help try to ensure its survival.
The company has started producing chocolate Numbats, with part proceeds from each sale going towards non-profit organisation Project Numbat, which focuses on Numbat conservation.
“We are the single largest private funders of both Western Swan Tortoise and Quokka conservation and research projects in WA and we want to be able to do the same for our endangered State fauna emblem,” says Margaret River Chocolate Factory co-founder Martin Black.
The company’s support doesn’t come a moment too soon. Many Numbat lovers were shocked to hear that a prescribed burn conducted by WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) in the Weinup region in late March may have wiped out many Numbats.
The burn was, by the department’s admission, of “a higher intensity than was planned.”
Perup retired farmer Bill Smart, who lives beside the site of the burn, maintains many Numbats, some with tiny babies, were incinerated in the inferno. He used to see them regularly in forest near his property, but has seen none since the fire, with the trees now ash. He and supporters are demanding the DBCA change its methodology when carrying out prescribed burns.
And why would the DBCA want to resist such calls? It is supposed to be a friend of the Numbat. (Project Numbat’s site says it values its partnership with the department.)
The DBCA, while refusing to concede any Numbats died in its March blaze – in which firebombs were hurled from a helicopter, incinerating everything in sight – has now “undertaken an operational review of this burn.” We hope the department will release the results of its review and look forward to seeing evidence Numbats are still flourishing in the razed region.
In the meantime, hats off to Margaret River Chocolate Factory, doing its bit to try to help save the Numbat while keeping West Australians and visitors more aware of our highly endangered State Emblem.
Thanks to Margaret River Chocolate Factory, The Starfish has some delightful chocolate Numbats to give away to readers.
To win, just tell us in a sentence why you’d like the chocolates. Email us, including your postal address, at firstname.lastname@example.org