2009: Sydney Spotlight

Restoring lost mammals to North Head

AWC embarked on its first, historic government partnership, working with Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to provide strategic advice on the protection of the headland’s endangered Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub community, and to deliver a range of conservation projects including the reintroduction of locally extinct species to North Head Sanctuary.

The sanctuary, comprising 74 hectares of land held by the Trust, is managed in an integrated manner with the adjoining Sydney Harbour National Park. Together, these sites represent one of the most important areas for biodiversity conservation within the Sydney Basin.

AWC has reintroduced three locally extinct mammals here: the Eastern Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus nanus), Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), and native Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes). The reintroduction of Bush Rats was particularly exciting as this species is able to act as a biological control measure against invasive black rats, due to the Bush Rats’ territorial nature. The Bush Rat and Eastern Pygmy Possum are important pollinators of the Banskia Scrub.

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