Over the last year, Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s (AWC) mission has helped secure the future of some of Australia’s most endangered species. Across the country, AWC has conducted the most ambitious and effective rewilding program to successfully translocate 13 endangered mammal species into protected, feral predator-free sanctuaries.
The continual heartbeat of collaboration and partnership pervades all that we do; working with Traditional Owners, Indigenous Rangers, communities, and corporations to deepen our understanding and ability to better care for Country.
We are proud to share our key milestones from the past 12 months, as we continuously strive for the effective conservation of Australia’s native wildlife and the habitats in which they live.Download our full 2023 Impact Report
Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s reintroduction program
Over the past 250 years, Australia has suffered the highest rate of mammal extinctions of any country in the world, and the loss of species has continued unabated into the twenty-first century.
Across the Australian continent and territorial islands, a total of 33 mammal species have gone extinct, with predation by feral cats and foxes the primary driver of declines. Today, around one in three surviving land mammals are listed as threatened with extinction nationally.
AWC is a national leader in the reintroduction of threatened mammals to parts of their former range, with the objective of reversing declines, improving a range of metrics relevant to conservation and restoring diverse, healthy ecosystems. A key part of AWC’s reintroduction program is the establishment of ‘safe havens’: areas from which introduced predators have been eliminated.
AWC manages Australia’s largest network of safe havens, with nine fenced areas and one island making up 47,700 hectares of feral predator-free landscapes.
Within this network of safe havens and predator managed sanctuaries, AWC has successfully reintroduced 19 mammal species since 1994. These reintroductions have materially improved the conservation status of some of Australia’s most threatened mammals.
Translocations since March 2022
AWC’s Ecohealth Program consists of a large-scale biodiversity monitoring effort to assess the status of wildlife and threats across AWC’s sanctuaries and partnership sites. The program involves targeted surveys of focal species, surveillance monitoring of animal assemblages, studies of vegetation and ecological processes and monitoring of key threats.
The Ecohealth Program is a major component of AWC’s science program, involving a huge investment in planning, field work, data management, and statistical analysis. It is by far the most extensive national-scale field monitoring program in Australia.
The results of Ecohealth monitoring in 2022/23 continued to show the substantial positive impacts of AWC’s approach to conservation.
During 2022 and 2023 heavy rain dominated Northern Australia, having a boom-and-bust effect on our wildlife. The surge of vegetation growth triggered a proliferation of invertebrate life, while plants, flowers, fruit, and seeds nourished a diversity of larger animals – amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds.
This abundance has also led to increased fire fuel loads for the upcoming summer season. As such, fire management which occurs at the end of the wet season and into the early dry season has become both more critical and complex.
Across Australia, AWC is about to complete the country’s largest fire management program across over 7.6 million hectares covering northern and central Australia, Western Australia, and parts of New South Wales.