News from the Field, Press Release

NSW Minister for Environment visits the Pilliga

09 Feb. 2022
Joey Clarke/AWC

NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin visited Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) ecologists and land managers in the Pilliga this week, during his first official trip to the conservation area.

On the visit, AWC updated the Minister on the major milestones achieved over the last six months in the Pilliga and also Mallee Cliffs National Park in south-western NSW, where AWC and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) work in partnership under the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.

 

 

Milestones included the reintroduction of three new threatened species to Mallee Cliffs – Woylies (Brush-tailed Bettongs), Red-tailed Phascogales and Numbats –, as well as the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby population in the Pilliga doubling from 42 to around 90 individuals since their reintroduction in August 2019.

“It’s wonderful to see the work being done here in the Pilliga, which is now home to flourishing populations of Bilby and Bridled Nailtail Wallaby,” said Mr Griffin. “Our NSW Government partnership with Australian Wildlife Conservancy is delivering great outcomes for conservation.”

 

Inside the 9,500-hectare feral predator-free fenced area the Woylies have been monitored closely for survival, dispersal and habitat use. David Sickerdick/AWC
AWC Field Ecologist Jess Holding releases a Woylie into the 9,570-hectare (23,650-acre) feral predator-free area at Mallee Cliffs National Park in NSW, the largest safe haven of its kind on mainland Australia.

Woylies led the latest reintroductions to Mallee Cliffs National Park in August 2021, when 16 individuals were relocated from Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary to Mallee Cliffs National Park and another 54 individuals (24 female and 30 male) completed a cross-border journey from AWC’s Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary in Western Australia. Six months later, the Woylies are successfully adapting to their new home and even a few pouch young have been recorded. Read more about the translocation, here.

 

Olympus Digital Camera Laurence Berry/AWC
Red-tailed Phascogales were translocated to Mallee Cliffs National Park in NSW from Alice Springs Desert Park in the NT. 

Next into the safe haven were 60 Red-tailed Phascogales, sourced from a captive breeding program at Alice Springs Desert Park (Northern Territory) in November last year. This captive population was founded by animals sourced by AWC ecologists from four different sites in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region. The newly reintroduced Red-tailed Phascogales to Mallee Cliffs are the offspring from this successful program. Read more about the phascogales journey from breeding centre to national park, here.

 

Twenty new Numbats arrived at Mallee Cliffs National Park in December 2021 to supplement the population of 15 which was released into the park one year earlier. Brad Leue/AWC
Twenty new Numbats arrived at Mallee Cliffs National Park in December 2021 to supplement the population of 15 which was released into the park one year earlier.

 

In December 2021, AWC ecologists translocated five Numbats from Perth Zoo in Western Australia and 15 from Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in NSW to Mallee Cliffs, where they joined the Numbats previously reintroduced by AWC in December 2020. Read more about the growing Numbat population, here.

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