Extinct Species Returned to the Wild in Australia
Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team
Date: February 9, 2022 11:56 pm
File photo of a numbat, one of the species being protected through reintroduction efforts in New South Wales
Photo Credit: The Animal Facts
The NSW Government are celebrating success in their plans to return extinct species to the wild across New South Wales.
Since August over 150 animals have been returned to fenced areas from which predators have been removed. The NSW government have been funding programs to remove cats and foxes from these areas so they become safe for endangered species.
7 predator free areas are being managed through a partnership with National Parks and Wildlife Service, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Wild Deserts, led by UNSW.
'I can’t overstate how important this project is for protecting biodiversity – it’s one of the most ambitious mammal rewilding programs in Australia,' said NSW Environment Minister James Griffin.
'Here at the Pilliga, we’ve seen the endangered bridled nailtail wallaby population double since it was reintroduced to this now feral-free area in August 2019, from 42 to about 90 at the latest estimate, including many females with joeys in pouches.
'This number is expected to eventually grow to more than 2000.'
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At Mallee Cliffs National Park the red-tailed phascogale has returned after 60 years. It is expected that eventually over 1500 of these tree-dwelling marsupials will take to the trees in coming years.
Other species returning to Mallee Cliffs are the brush-tailed bettong and numbats.
'The phascogale is the eighth mammal listed as extinct in New South Wales that has been returned to NSW national parks in the past 3 years,' Mr Griffin said.
'Within a few years, we hope to remove at least 10 mammals from the NSW extinct list – the first time that will have happened anywhere in the world.
'Many of these and other species already reintroduced to these feral-free areas have not been seen in our national parks for more than a century, largely because of foxes and feral cats. Feral cats kill over 1.5 billion native animals nationally every year.
'With these projects, we’re restoring ecosystems to health, giving locally extinct animals a second chance and, in time, offering the community the chance to see the bush at its best.'