Newhaven: restoring the lost mammals of central Australia
July 1, 2016
Weekend Australian showcases Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers preparing to implement world’s largest feral cat eradication
The Weekend Australian (Saturday 2 July, 2016) has published a major article showcasing AWC’s project to establish Australia’s largest fox and cat-free area at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, to protect and restore Australia’s most endangered wildlife.
The feral predator-free is one of the world’s most important threatened species projects. It will deliver a significant increase in the global population of at least 10 mammal species including iconic central Australian natives such as the Central Rock Rat (critically endangered) and the Mala (extinct in the wild on the mainland), as well as the Golden Bandicoot (which has disappeared from over 95% of its former range). It will also benefit endangered reptiles (Great Desert Skink) and a suite of rare and declining birds.
Local to the area, Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers have, for several years, assisted in the delivery of fire management (benefitting threatened species such as the Princess Parrot), feral predator control and biological surveys. The specialist cat tracking skills of the Newhaven Warlpiri Rangers will be critically important in delivering a globally significant outcome at Newhaven – the removal of feral cats at a scale never before attempted on mainland Australia.
Stage 1 of the Newhaven project involves establishing a feral predator-free area of up to 13,000 hectares, involving a feral-proof fence of around 50 kilometres. Stage 2 involves extending the conservation fence to establish a total feral cat and fox-free area of at least 65,000 hectares (650 square kilometres).
Our partners in the Newhaven project include the Commonwealth Government and the Northern Territory Government. The Commonwealth Government has provided $750,000 as part of its National Threatened Species Strategy, launched in 2015 by Federal Environment Minister, the Hon Greg Hunt MP. AWC must now raise an additional $2.25 million to fund the implementation of Stage 1.
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