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Wildlife Reintroductions at North Head
Like much of Sydney, North Head has lost a suite of native mammals since European settlement. AWC is restoring the faunal diversity of North Head through a reintroduction program of locally extinct species. These reintroductions will assist important ecological processes such as pollination and the dispersal of seeds and spores.
The native Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes) is an important part of the animal community in forests of eastern Australia. After becoming locally extinct, Bush Rats were reintroduced to North Head by AWC during 2014 16.
The reintroduction of Bush Rats has also involved the removal of feral black rats (Rattus rattus) from parts of North Head. Black rats have replaced native rodents in much of the remnant habitat around Sydney. The successful establishment of Bush Rats will assist in reducing black rat numbers across the headland and benefit other small mammal species being reintroduced.
Eastern Pygmy Possum
The Eastern Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus nanus) is a tiny nocturnal marsupial that is an important pollinator of banksias and other native flowering plants. It is listed as vulnerable in NSW due to habitat loss, foxes and feral cats and changing fire patterns. Due to these threats, the Eastern Pygmy Possum has become locally extinct from some areas, including North Head. In 2016 - 2017, AWC reintroduced 10 Eastern Pygmy Possums to North Head, with further translocations taking place in 2018.
The Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), a small dasyurid, has been reintroduced to North Head. This semi-arboreal carnivorous marsupial feeds on invertebrates as well as being an important pollinator. The species is under threat due to habitat loss, foxes and feral cats and changing fire patterns. As part of the strategy to restore small mammals to North Head, AWC reintroduced 34 Brown Antechinus to the headland in 2017.