Mornington named in "top ten" nature reserves

Mornington-Marion Downs

December 2006: Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s largest property, Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary, has been named as one of the Top 10 nature reserves of the last decade.

The award was announced today by World Wildlife Fund – Australia (WWF) and the Federal Minister for the Environment, Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell.  In addition to being named as one of Australia’s “Top 10” reserves, Mornington was identified as the ‘non-government organisation reserve of the decade’.

Covering more than 312,000 hectares (760,000 acres), Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the heart of the Central Kimberley region, in Australia’s remote north-west. The property hosts a landscape of spectacular scenery: flat-topped mesas and the ancient King Leopold Ranges overlook vast savanna woodlands and a network of tropical rivers and streams. Features of the property include the dramatic Dimond and Sir John Gorges on the Fitzroy River.

AWC Chief Executive, Atticus Fleming, said the award, based on independent scientific advice provided to WWF-Australia, recognises the importance of Mornington to the conservation of Australia’s endangered wildlife.

“Mornington is one of the last strongholds for the endangered Gouldian Finch, perhaps Australia’s most beautiful bird. Other threatened species such as the Red Goshawk, the Purple-crowned Fairy-wren and the Northern Quoll also find refuge on the property”.

“With over 200 bird species, nearly 100 species of reptiles and amphibians and an estimated 40 mammal species, Mornington is a ‘hotspot’ for the threatened wildlife of northern Australia.”

Atticus Fleming paid tribute to AWC’s dedicated field staff, who safeguard the wildlife of Mornington by implementing practical land management programs to control threats such as weeds, wildfires and feral animals.

The management of Mornington is funded by donations from AWC supporters across Australia.

“Protecting and restoring populations of threatened wildlife is ‘core business’ for AWC’s field staff and for our loyal supporters. Together, we are helping to turn back the tide of extinctions by making a difference where it really matters – in the field at places like Mornington Wildlife Sanctuary.”

Mr Fleming thanked all AWC supporters who are helping to protect Mornington and its wildlife.

AWC supporters and the public can visit Mornington, staying at the comfortable Mornington Wilderness Camp and enjoying one of the most remarkable and rewarding nature-based experiences in Australia.