You may no longer see them on the chocolate shelf in the supermarket, but the chances of seeing the iconic Bilby living safely in the wild are a step closer to reality thanks to almost $7 million in funding from the Morrison Government to expand Australia’s network of wildlife safe havens.
The Bilby will join a cast of Australian icons like the Chuditch-Western Quoll, Brush-tailed Rock-wallaby, Numbat and Sandhill Dunnart living across six havens ranging from Black Point in the Northern Territory, down to Wilson’s Promontory in Victoria.
Minister for the Environment Sussan Ley said safe havens are essential to establishing insurance populations and in the fight against extinction.
“The Morrison Government has already provided funding to 11 projects that are establishing feral predator-free safe havens to protect threatened species, such as Newhaven in the Northern Territory, Tidbinbilla in the ACT and Wandiyali in NSW,” Minister Ley said.
“We know they work because we have seen the results. On Dirk Hartog Island off Western Australia we have seen hare-wallabies and dibblers successfully re-introduced and they are thriving. Shark Bay Bandicoots translocated from Bernier and Dorre Islands have also become established within this haven.
“At Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Territory, another project aided by Federal Government funding and delivered by the Australian Wildlife Conservancy, efforts are underway to secure at least 10 nationally threatened and locally extinct mammal species in a 9,400ha feral predator-free fenced area.
“Seventy Mala and 90 red-tailed phascogale have already been reintroduced and it is anticipated that once all stages of the project are complete, Newhaven will be home to an estimated population of 18,000 Mala.
“Havens provide sanctuary and they also offer the chance for data gathering. They build our cultural knowledge and it is great to see that this most recent round of projects will involve Traditional Owner and Indigenous Ranger-led interventions.”
The list of the successful projects can be found here: https://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/conservation/environment-re…;