Emergency translocation success as Mala return to Newhaven

Emergency translocation success as Mala return to Newhaven
Field Programs
Fire management | Feral cat and fox control | Wildlife translocations
Mala / Rufous Hare-wallaby

Emergency translocation success as Mala return to Newhaven

November 2017: A group of eight endangered Mala have been successfully translocated to AWC's Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary.

The four females, all with pouch young, and four males were part of an emergency translocation from Watarrka National Park, carried out jointly by AWC and the NT Government and supported by the Federal Government.

The Mala is one of Australia’s most endangered mammals, with an estimated 400 animals on mainland Australia. The last wild population on the mainland disappeared in 1991.

The emergency translocation to Newhaven was featured on the The Project (Channel 10) on Sunday 19 November - see the story here. You can also read about it in the Weekend Australian or listen to a radio interview with AWC Chief Executive, Atticus Fleming on ABC Evenings with Chris Bath.

The translocation to Newhaven is a critical step in saving the species from extinction. The eight Mala have been released into a secure 150 hectare feral predator-free area. Initial monitoring shows that the Mala have adapted well to their new home. The next steps are:

  • bolster this initial population of 8 Mala with additional translocations as soon as possible; and
  • complete the construction of the Stage 1 (9,450 ha) feral cat-free area at Newhaven by building a 44 kilometre feral-proof fence by 2019. The Mala will then be released into this massive 9,450 ha fox and cat-free area.  As the feral predator-free area expands to 70,000 ha over the next decade, the Mala population is expected to grow to 18,000 Mala.

You can help!  

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


Newhaven Warlpiri Ranger Duncan Jungala Gallagher and Newhaven Widlife Sanctuary Manager Josef Schofield inspect the fence.

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 totalling around 400 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.