AUS Taxonomic Groups

Reintroduction Projects in Australia

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Australian Wildlife Conservancy


The Australian Wildlife Conservancy manages 22 wildlife sanctuaries across Australia covering over >2.7 million hectares. Reintroductions of threatened mammals and birds have taken place at a number of these sanctuaries since 1994. 

Thirty-eight quenda (southern brown bandicoots), six numbats, 37 woylies (brush-tailed bettongs), 42 western ringtail possums, four quokkas and 13 tammar wallabies were translocated to Karakamia Wildlife Sanctuary in Chidlow, near Perth, between 1994 and 1998. All species have persisted, and over 450 woylies have been transferred from Karakamia to stock other AWC and WA Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) reintroduction sites (predominantly National Parks and Nature Reserves). Foxes and feral cats are excluded from the 280 ha fenced sanctuary. 

Over 200 woylies, over 90 quenda, 44 tammar wallabies and 43 black-flanked rock-wallabies were translocated to Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary in the Avon Valley north of Perth between 2000 and 2005. All species have established populations and are regularly sighted or captured during regular monitoring by trapping and spotlighting. Foxes and feral cats are controlled within the 2,000 ha corridor, through baiting programs, 14 km of fence, the Avon River, and two National Parks that are also baited for introduced predators. 

Seventeen burrowing bettongs and 114 Shark Bay mice were translocated to Faure Island in Shark Bay in 2002, 19 banded hare-wallabies in 2004 and 20 western barred bandicoots in 2005. All have established well, with over 900 bettongs captured during the last monitoring period in July 2011, illustrating the suitability of the habitat and rapid population growth in the absence of introduced predators. Cats were eradicated from the island in 2001. A PhD student from the University of Western Australia, Felicity Donaldson, has been studying the ecology and genetics of burrowing bettongs on Faure Island, and Barrow, Bernier and Dorre Islands. 

120 burrowing bettongs, 172 woylies, 12 bridled nailtail wallabies and 40 greater bilbies were translocated to Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in western New South Wales between December 2004 and September 2005. All the translocations have been successful, and a PhD student from the University of Sydney, Graham Finlayson, has been closely monitoring the translocated populations in conjunction with AWC. Eleven black-eared miners were reintroduced to Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary in October 2005 in conjunction with New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service and the South Australian Department of Environment and Heritage. Bridled nailtail wallabies were translocated beyond Scotia’s conservation fenced area in 2010 and 2011 and have a 65% survivorship so far.  Scotia possesses Australia’s largest mainland area completely free of introduced species (8000 ha). Six numbats were transferred from Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary to the Arid Recovery Reserve in South Australia in November 2005. The population at Scotia was derived from 43 numbats reintroduced to Scotia in 1999 and now stands at 140. More information see

Heirisson Prong

Heirrison Prong is a peninsula in Western Australia with an ongoing restoration and reintroduction programme. The programme involves the local community, a mining company and CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology. So far burrowing bettong and western barred bandicoots have been reintroduced, and reintroductions of other species are planned. For more information, see the Heirisson Prong website or contact Jeff Short.

Arid Recovery Project

The Arid Recovery Project is a joint conservation initiative between WMC Resources, Dept of Environment S.A., University of Adelaide and the local community. The project has fenced and excluded rabbits, cats and foxes from a 60 square km Reserve near Roxby Downs in northern South Australia. Four threatened mammal species have been re-introduced namely the greater bilby, burrowing bettong (boodie), western-barred bandicoot and greater stick-nest rat. The success of the re-introductions can be attributed to the specially designed and tested 1.8m boundary netting fence which has not been breached by cats of foxes since its construction. The project is research-based to study the restoration of ecological processes following the removal of rabbits, cats and foxes. More than 300 monitoring sites have been established and recent results include five times as many native rodents at sites inside the Reserve compared to outside sites. For more information visit the Arid Recovery Website.