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Brown Antechinus Move in to North Head Sanctuary

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: April 24, 2022 12:33 am

Antechinus Released by Australian Wildlife Conservancy

One of the brown antechinus which was translocated from Garigal National Park to North Head Sanctuary.

Photo Credit: Andrew Prochuk-Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Two brown antechinus have made a move across Sydney to a desirable piece of harborside real estate with CBD views. The new arrivals join a further 10 individuals translocated to North Head Sanctuary in Manly over the past month.

At North Head Sanctuary Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) work in partnership with Sydney Harbour Federation Trust to restore and protect a number of threatened species.

Along with the brown antechinus, the AWC and Sydney Harbour Federation Trust have reintroduced bush rats and eastern pygmy possum to the sanctuary.

The two latest additions to the colony were microchipped for monitoring and carefully released into nest boxes at dusk last week.

Antechinus Released by Australian Wildlife Conservancy

North Head Sanctuary is an urban safe haven for native wildlife–located minutes from Sydney’s CBD

Photo Credit: Andrew Prochuk-Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Further additions to the colony are being made following a successful reintroduction of the species to North Head Sanctuary in 2017. The species had been removed from the sanctuary decades previously due to urban development, habitat fragmentation and predation by feral animals.

Since the reintroduction monitoring has shown that the new population is moving to a number of sites across the sanctuary. Videos have been captured of them feeding on Banksia inflorescences – both positive signs of the species’ restoration to their former range.

“Last year, we found 11 new Brown Antechinus in small box traps and nest boxes on the headland. This sudden detection of a species previously only found on camera traps suggests to us that the population is becoming established – and they’re moving as far as the headland’s sheltered harbourside slopes,” said Viyanna Leo, Australian Wildlife Conservancy Senior Wildlife Ecologist. “We also recently trapped two female Brown Antechinus in November, both carrying seven to eight young respectively – the first individuals to be trapped at North Head carrying pouch young.”

“It’s exciting every time we encounter evidence that the reintroduced population is breeding successfully or moving across the sanctuary. However, it’s important that we introduce new individuals to the sanctuary to maintain genetic diversity and ensure we have enough males – who die after breeding – in the population. We expect our newcomers will find the sanctuary equally inviting and quickly contribute to the species’ growing population."

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Executive Director of the Harbour Trust, Janet Carding said;

"We are delighted to be working with the Australian Wildlife Conservancy to boost the population of the Brown Antechinus in North Head Sanctuary.

North Head's delicate ecosystem is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, and its preservation is central to the Harbour Trust's mission. Protecting these species along with the other reintroduced populations of native Bush Rats and Eastern Pygmy Possums is so important."

Brown antechinus are a small carnivorous marsupial found along the east coast of Australia. These animals have an interesting breeding strategy in which they use so much energy trying to find a mate that they become exhausted. Most individuals die after their first breeding season as a result.

Brown antechinus spend the day resting in a tree hollow and emerge at night to find small insects and reptiles.

Learn more about Marsupials here – Marsupial Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Australian Wildlife Conservancy on their website – Australian Wildlife Conservancy

Antechinus Released by Australian Wildlife Conservancy

One of the brown antechinus which was translocated from Garigal National Park to North Head Sanctuary.

Photo Credit: Andrew Prochuk-Australian Wildlife Conservancy

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