NSW Government has announced plans to return up to 8 mammal species that have been extinct in the state for almost a century to national parks across NSW.
Environment Minister Robyn Parker said the move was about recognising that not enough has been done to turn back the tide of mammal extinction in NSW. The severely endangered mammals set to be returned to NSW include the Bilby, the Numbat, and bridled nail-tail Wallaby.
“Sadly, Australia has one of the worst mammal extinction records in the world, and NSW has been at the epicentre of this crisis. Allowing almost 1,000 species to become extinct or be threatened with extinction in the last century has been a failure of leadership”, Parker said.
“The reintroduction of these species is important to our environmental future, because I believe our children should know bilbies aren’t just a chocolate alternative to the Easter bunny”.
The initiative will include the construction of special conservation fencing around approximately 4,000 hectares national parkland that will protect the mammal population from foxes and feral cats. Conservative estimates consider over 15 million feral cats exist across the country.
The conservation program was inspired by an unsolicited proposal from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy. Parker said that the government is encouraging interested conservation organisations with the knowledge, experience and passion to join the government on this exciting program.
The program will also support ongoing efforts to recover remaining threatened mammals through improving the effectiveness of feral cat control and providing additional highly protected areas for species like the Mallee Fowl and Bolams Mouse.
“By restoring some of Australia’s iconic mammals, we are focused on restoring the systems which produce our fertile soils, purify our drinking water, pollinate our crops and maintain all of the other natural systems the rest of our economy relies upon”.
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