World's rarest marsupial fighting back

A Gilbert's potoroo in Western Australia. (AAP Image/Supplied)

Twenty years ago, the Gilbert's potoroo was was thought to be extinct. Now the population has reached more than 100 due to conservation efforts in WA.

The population of the world's rarest marsupial has grown to more than 100 in the 20 years since the Gilbert's potoroo species was "rediscovered" in Western Australia's Great Southern region.

State Environment Minister Albert Jacob said there had been intensive conservation efforts made since the discovery of 30 animals at Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve near Albany in 1994, and there were now more than 100 across three colonies.

"Prior to its rediscovery, the species was thought to have been extinct for more than a century, with the last recorded specimens collected in the late 1870s," he said.

Recovery efforts included moving 10 potoroos to the predator-free Bald Island between 2005 and 2007.

In 2010, nine potoroos were released into a predator-free 380ha enclosure in Waychinicup National Park, with more animals introduced into the park over the past four years.

The main threat to Gilbert's potoroo is predation by feral cats and foxes.

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