The NSW Government has contracted Australian Wildlife Conservancy and the University of New South Wales to deliver an innovative project to reintroduce locally extinct mammal species into NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service reserves.
This initiative has seen the return of threatened mammal species, including the greater bilby and bridled nail-tail wallabies, since it was first announced in April 2014. Most of these species have not been seen in their natural habitat in New South Wales for over 90 years.
The reintroduction of 13 locally extinct mammals is part of Saving our Species, which aims to maximise the number of threatened species that can be secured in the wild in New South Wales over the next 100 years.
Nearly 130,000 hectares across 3 national parks reserves are dedicated to the project. Within these areas, the Australian Wildlife Conservancy and University of New South Wales have established and are managing large fenced areas of several thousand hectares where mammals are being reintroduced following the removal of feral cats and foxes. The partner organisations are also delivering complementary park management activities in collaboration with the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Scientific research has shown these locally extinct mammals play a significant role in maintaining the health of ecosystems. Reintroducing them to exclosures in parks where foxes, feral cats and other pest animals have been removed will not only reduce their risk of extinction but is expected to deliver significant benefits to many other threatened species.