Threatened Species Reintroductions
Over 100 species of Australian fauna and flora has been lost in the 200 years since European settlement of the continent. In particular, the Australian mainland has suffered the loss of 27 species of unique Australian mammal, but fortunately one third of these have survived on offshore islands. This has presented an opportunity to reverse the decline of our threatened fauna.
AWC aims to develop and implement management techniques, which allow the re-establishment of those species surviving on islands, and those that still occur on the mainland, but have declined in both distribution and abundance. AWC manage sanctuaries throughout Australia, and are actively facilitating the reconstruction of ecosystems by constructing fenced areas to exclude feral animals, managing fire, controlling weeds and rehabilitating over half a million hectares of land. This on-ground management has set the scene for the reintroduction of numerous threatened species, such as the Banded Hare-wallaby, Bilby, Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, Burrowing Bettong, Numbat, and Shark Bay Mouse. Many of these reintroduced populations have been husbanded to a point where they are now self-sustaining and have provided a source of animals for translocation to additional sites, including National Parks.
AWC’s sanctuaries provide a demonstration of how such species can be effectively re-established on the mainland, and are making a significant contribution to both the conservation of Australia’s threatened species, and the techniques to do so. By pushing the boundaries beyond current practice, AWC aims to pursue the reintroduction of threatened species at a landscape scale.
An example of this program can be found at the following AWC sanctuaries;