Emergency translocation for near-extinct Mala – you can help!

Emergency translocation for near-extinct Mala – you can help!
Field Programs
Wildlife translocations | Feral cat and fox control
Mala / Rufous Hare-wallaby

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) is preparing to undertake an emergency translocation of a colony of Mala (Rufous Hare-wallaby), one of Australia's rarest mammals.


Extinct in the wild since 1991, there are only around 420 Mala remaining on mainland Australia amongst five, semi-wild populations. Sadly, one of the last Mala populations is at risk of extinction. The population at Watarrka National Park has declined from more than 200 animals to an estimated 20 as a result of a large wildfire, which has left animals exposed to birds of prey.

To prevent the extinction of this population, which contributes important genetic diversity, the NT Government and AWC, supported by the Federal Government, are planning an emergency translocation of the Watarrka Mala to a secure refuge at AWC's Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary.



To save this important population of Mala, AWC field staff, including the Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers, are working around the clock to establish a special-purpose, 150 hectare, feral predator-free area. The 20 Mala will be translocated to this area in the next couple of weeks as part of a joint operation with the NT Government.

YOU CAN HELP by donating to the Mala Translocation Emergency Appeal 

AWC had to build an additional 2.6 kilometres of feral-proof fencing (see map below), remove all foxes and feral cats and undertake a complex translocation involving charter flights. The total cost is estimated at $175,000.


Please help us save the Mala by making a tax deductible donation to help translocate additional Mala to Newhaven and to help build a 44 kilometre feral cat-proof fence to establish a massive, secure home for the Mala and other wildlife:
• $50 will buy five fence pickets
• $100 will buy one fence strainer
• $250 will buy 20 metres of netting
• $1,000 will buy three Thomas traps for capturing/monitoring Mala
• $10,000 will pay for the charter flights to transport additional Mala to Newhaven.

Every supporter who makes a donation of $50 or more will have the option of being listed on a commemorative panel to be established at the Mala area at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary.

Please note: if you wish to be recognised on the commemorative panel, please select "Mala Emergency Translocation (Named)" in the "Donate to" section of the donation page. If you do not want to be acknowledged or make a donation of less than $50, please choose "Mala Emergency Translocation".

YOU CAN HELP by donating to the Mala Translocation Emergency Appeal

This is a critical step in establishing the first wild Mala population on mainland Australia since 1991. Within two years, the Mala will be released into a larger 9,450 hectare feral predator-free area at Newhaven (currently under construction). Over time, as the feral-free area at Newhaven expands, we estimate the property will be home to 18,000 wild Mala.


Newhaven Warlpiri Ranger and cat tracker Christine Ellis Michaels and AWC's Land Management Officer Murray Schofield remove feral predators before the Mala arrive.

ABOUT THE MALA (Rufous Hare-Wallaby)

The Mala, which is extinct in the wild on mainland Australia, is a small kangaroo weighing up to 1.3 kilograms with long, soft rufous fur. Mala once lived across a massive area of central and western Australia. However, the population collapsed during the 20th century, primarily as a result of foxes and feral cats. The last wild population became extinct in 1991.

Before the last wild population disappeared, a small number of Mala were removed from the wild for captive breeding. There are now five semi-wild populations on mainland Australia totaling around 420 animals. 

YOU CAN HELP by donating to the Mala Translocation Emergency Appeal


Thank you to all AWC supporters who have already donated to Newhaven.  If you have not donated this year, or if you are in a position to make an additional donation, we would be very grateful for your support.  It will help deliver a very tangible outcome for one of Australia’s most endangered mammals. To make a donation to our Mala Translocation Emergency Appeal click here

Watch out for a report on the translocation in a few weeks.