We need to focus our efforts if we are to bring our threatened animals and plants back from the brink. The Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy identifies creating safe havens as one of its priorities for action.
Safe havens are areas where key threats to plants and animals can be removed, not just managed. They provide long-term protection, giving at-risk species the space needed to recover and increase their populations. They allow species to thrive by excluding their key threats. Existing havens are already successfully protecting species like the bridled nail-tail wallaby, southern corroboree frog and mala while providing valuable scientific data on longer term means of recovery.
Creating one of Australia's largest fenced feral cat and fox free area—NT
Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, north-west of Alice Springs, aims to become one of Australia's largest fenced feral cat and fox-free area. The two-stage project will establish a 100 000 hectare enclosure to protect at least nine threatened mammals, including seven to be reintroduced to the area. The project will be delivered in collaboration with traditional owners, with Indigenous rangers helping to control feral animals, manage fire and carry out biological surveys. The project will help the endangered red-tailed phascogale, mala, central rock-rat as well as the vulnerable western quoll, golden bandicoot, greater bilby, black-flanked rock-wallaby, burrowing bettong and more.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Expanding Mulligan's Flat Woodland Sanctuary—ACT
Mulligan's Flat Woodland Sanctuary provides a fenced predator-free environment for listed threatened species including the vulnerable New Holland mouse and the recently reintroduced eastern bettong. The project will support the sanctuary's expansion to 1555 hectares (triple its current size), protecting more box-gum grassy woodland and creating opportunities to bring back other species such as the eastern quoll. This investment will also be leveraged by the local community's innovative fundraising campaign which is encouraging regular donations and a sustainable funding base.
ACT Government and Woodlands and Wetlands Trust
Going feral free at Astrebla Downs National Park—QLD
A new feral-free area will be established at Astrebla Downs National Park in central west Queensland's Channel Country. About 8000 hectares will be fenced off as a safe haven, and feral predators will be controlled across the unfenced area of the national park. The project will help the vulnerable bilby, kowari or brushy-tailed marsupial rat and plains mouse, and critically endangered plains-wanderer.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Bringing back the eastern barred bandicoot—VIC
This project will widen the gene pool of the remaining Victorian eastern barred bandicoots by cross breeding them with a small number of Tasmanian eastern barred bandicoots. Now extinct in the wild, the Victorian eastern barred bandicoot only exists in two predator-free conservation parks in Victoria. The genetic diversity of its small population has reduced by about 40 per cent over the last 20 years. The project will support the capture and relocation of about 26 Tasmanian eastern barred bandicoots to the Mt Rothwell feral-free area in Victoria, where they will be matched with Victorian eastern barred bandicoots. The cross-bred offspring will be released into a new predator-proof conservation park and two island sites over the next three years to help secure the species' future.
Captive breeding the brush-tailed rock-wallaby—NSW
This project will support continued captive breeding of the vulnerable brush-tailed rock-wallaby at the Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary on the NSW central coast, with help from the Friends of the Brush-tailed Rock-Wallaby. It will secure a genetically robust insurance population for the brush-tailed rock-wallaby should its numbers continue to decline in the wild.
NSW Government and Waterfall Springs Wildlife Sanctuary