Aussie Ark helps local wildlife flourish

posted: 23/09/2019

As a major employer in the Hunter Region, we actively seek local organisations to partner with and, together, make a lasting contribution to the communities and environment in the region.

In Aussie Ark, we found a passionate partner whose local project contributes to protecting endangered wildlife for all of Australia.

At its heart, Aussie Ark aims to prevent the extinction of multiple native, endangered Australian mammals, including the Tasmanian devil, eastern bettong, long-nosed and southern brown bandicoot, long-nosed potaroo, brush-tailed wallaby, eastern quoll and Hastings River mouse. 

In recent years, these species have suffered a dramatic reduction in numbers, often at the hands of predators such as foxes and feral cats. Some of them have been extinct in NSW since the 1920s.

The project aims to develop self-sustaining ‘insurance’ populations of each species via a conservation breeding program. The 400 hectare animal refuge in spectacular Barrington Tops in the Upper Hunter region of New South Wales, where some of these mammals used to live in the wild, provides a safe breeding environment for these species to flourish.

In the case of the Tasmanian devil, Aussie Ark’s mission is to increase numbers and potentially relocate the entire population from Barrington Tops to Tasmania as and when the native population is wiped out by the highly contagious devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) which has decimated 90% of native devils within the last 15 years.

A critical part of this program is ensuring endangered animals are safe from predators. To address this challenge, Glencore provided Aussie Ark with $450,000 to build a “predator proof” fence that completely encloses the entire 400 hectare area. The fence is equipped to ensure predators can neither climb over it nor tunnel under it, and provides a sanctuary for the native mammals.