Australian Wildlife Conservancy is the biggest private (not for profit) owner and/or manager of land for conservation in Australia. As a leader in the field, our mission is the effective conservation of all Australian native animal species and the habitats in which they live.
hectares of land owned and/or managed for conservation by AWC
native species threatened with extinction
years of effective conservation
Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s story began on August 2, 1991 when Martin Copley purchased Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Australia. It has since grown to become the largest private owner and manager of land for conservation in Australia, protecting more than 12.9 million hectares across sanctuaries and partnership sites in iconic regions of Australia.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s vision is to see a world where Australia’s biodiversity is valued and effectively conserved by an engaged community.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s mission is the effective conservation of all Australian animal species and the habitats in which they live.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy will realise its vision and mission by focusing on and measuring progress towards: Pre-eminent conservation science; Effective species conservation; Working together as OneAWC; Ensuring strong financial sustainability; Operating as a key conservation leader and engaging the community.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy was born out of one man’s mission to turn back the tide of extinctions of Australia’s native species. Starting with one property in south Western Australia, Martin Copley began a journey which would lead to the creation of Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the creation of a new model for conservation.
Through support from donors and innovative partnerships with Indigenous groups, governments and landholders, AWC now owns, manages or works in partnership across more than 12.9 million hectares.
Through this network of large-scale wildlife sanctuaries in remote and iconic regions, such as the Kimberley, Cape York, central Australia and the Top End, we protect some of the nation’s most iconic and endangered wildlife including:
Australia has the worst rate of mammal extinction in the world. Since European settlement in 1788, more than 10 percent of mammal species have disappeared due to predation by introduced species, such as feral cats and foxes, and habitat degradation. More than 1,700 species are currently facing extinction. Inaction or ‘business as usual’ for conservation will lead to additional extinctions. To reverse this decline we have developed a new model for conservation in which we:
Feral cats are the single greatest threat to wildlife, killing millions of native animals each day. Conservative estimates put the number of feral cats across Australia at three million. Our strategy to reduce the impact of feral cats includes:
Australia’s terrestrial biodiversity has also diminished due to the impact of habitat degradation through large-scale land clearing, bad fire management practices and the impact of feral herbivores and weeds. The scale of our land management activities are unprecedented in Australia. We conduct the biggest non-government fire management program in the country in the Kimberley region of north-western Australia.
Through the generosity of our supporters, AWC manages the biggest network of feral cat and fox-free land on mainland Australia where we have successfully reintroduced endangered species to their former habitats.
Our practical land management program coupled with solid scientific research and practices ensure that we produce measurable results. Each year, our team of ecologists conduct the nation’s most extensive biodiversity program gathering data that informs AWC’s land management actions and enables us to measure the ecological return on our supporters’ investment.
With 70 per cent of our staff based at our sanctuaries around the country, more than 85 per cent of operational expenditure is incurred on conservation where it makes the greatest difference to Australia’s native species – in the field.
Learn more about AWC’s objectives and results below.
Establish a network of sanctuaries and other managed land that is home to Australian animal species and the habitats in which they live.
Deliver best practice, science-informed land management.
Improve and maintain ecological health – species abundance, diversity and ecosystem function – in AWC sanctuaries through integrated and cost-effective delivery of best practice land management and world class science.
Demonstrate financial leadership and accountability, grow philanthropic support, increase donor retention and grow our network of support.
Extend our conservation reach by nurturing and establishing partnerships with others such as universities and scientific institutions, pastoralists, Indigenous peoples and government.
Expand AWC’s influence beyond the boundaries of its sanctuaries by:
AWC places a high value on collaborating and partnering with others to generate better outcomes for biodiversity. For example: