Guest Lecturer Keith Morris M.Sc.
In the 1970s, Keith was a volunteer for the then Department of Fisheries and Wildlife (F&W) before obtaining a position in 1982 as a Reserves Management Officer based in Karratha. There his main responsibilities were island survey and management, especially for the Dampier Archipelago, authoring the 1990-2000 management plan for this group. His duties expanded to other Pilbara islands, leading teams that eradicated black rats on the southern end of Barrow Island and on the nearby Double Islands, Middle Island, Boodie Island and Pasco Island.
In 1985 he also eradicated feral goats on Bernier Island in Shark Bay. Over this period, he also increased our knowledge of marine turtle biology, distribution, and management on islands along the north-west coast. After transferring to the Science Division of the Department of Conservation and Land Management (into which the wildlife part of F&W was transferred) and moving to Perth in 1988, he continued involvement in island research and management, focussing on threatened mammals. He led translocations of djoongari (Shark Bay mouse) to Doole Island (Exmouth Gulf) and North West Island (Montebellos), and planned and implemented the translocation of golden bandicoot, boodie, spectacled hare-wallaby and brushtail possum from Barrow Island, where land was being cleared to construct a liquefied natural gas plant, to the Montebello Islands, Matuwa (ex-Lorna Glen pastoral lease), and Cape Range National Park.
More recently, just prior to his retirement in 2020, he planned and commenced mammal translocations to Dirk Hartog Island National Park (WA’s largest island) as part of one of Australia’s most ambitious fauna reconstruction projects. As well as his research and conservation actions associated with islands, Keith has also carried out a wide range of research projects aimed at conserving threatened mainland mammal species such as the western quoll or chuditch.
Over his 38-year career, Keith has authored or co-authored 125 scientific papers or
book chapters on islands and mammal conservation, eradication of pest species and biological survey programs.