Re-wilding bringing back extinct species to NSW

As part of World Environment Day, Environment Minister Mark Speakman has announced the next step towards reintroducing native animals to areas in NSW where they are extinct, with the selection of two expert organisations to undertake the project.

Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

Mr Speakman said the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the Wildlife Restoration and Management Partnership led by UNSW would now begin discussions with the government on how to deliver the project.

“This is the largest reintroduction program attempted by any government in Australia, and is part of the NSW Government’s commitment to protecting and preserving threatened species in this state,” Mr Speakman said.

“We are determined to halt the decline in our native species, and this project will go some way towards rectifying the species loss in NSW since European settlement.

“The project will establish exclusion zones in NSW National Parks which are several thousand hectares in size and free of introduced predators so native species can flourish.

“Under the proposals more than 10 species are to be reintroduced. These include the iconic bilby, numbat and brush-tailed bettong, western barred bandicoot and the bridled nailtail wallaby .

“I’m very excited that these small mammals might soon be thriving in a landscape where some haven’t been seen for more than 90 years. I look forward to seeing the first animals released back into the wild.

“These mammals play a significant role in ecosystem health, so their reintroduction and associated land management activities stand to benefit more than 50 other threatened species as well.

“Further discussions will take place before the parks and species are finalised. We also can confirm the parks involved will be in western NSW.

“This initiative will be a significant contribution to the state’s Saving our Species program, which aims to secure the maximum number of threatened species in NSW over the next 100 years.”

Media: Lance Northey 0437 506 637