2012: Feral herbivore free

Final fence posts installed at Wongalara

In late September of 2012, as the Top End temperatures began to climb, Wongalara Wildlife Sanctuary Manager Chris Whatley and his team completed the final stages of a 160-kilometre fence to protect more than 100,000 hectares of tropical woodland, wetland and rich riparian habitat from feral herbivores.

It was a historic moment, creating the largest feral herbivore-free area on mainland Australia. For the first time in over a century, a significant area of land in the Top End was free of large feral herbivores such as buffalo, cattle, horses and donkeys.

Established in 2006, Wongalara protects over 190,000 hectares to the south of Arnhem Land. Wongalara now forms one of mainland Australia’s three largest feral herbivore-free areas (feral herbivores are also functionally extinct are on parts of AWC’s Mornington-Marion Downs-Tableland Sanctuaries and at Pungalina-Seven Emu Wildlife Sanctuary).

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