Restoring Central Australia’s Lost Biodiversity at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary

Timeframe: 2020 - 2024
Country/Region: Australia
Partner: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC)

Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world: more than 10% of its mammal fauna has gone extinct since European settlement and this decline is ongoing. Approximately 30% of Australia’s surviving terrestrial mammal species are threatened with extinction. Feral cats are the most significant threat and have been a major factor in the majority of extinctions.

At Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary in central Australia, our partner, AWC is implementing a globally significant project: the restoration of central Australia’s lost biodiversity. The first phase of the project involved construction of a specially designed 44-kilometre conservation fence and the total eradication of feral predators (cats, foxes) and competitors (i.e. rabbits, camels) from 9’400 hectares.

Fondation Segré is supporting the second phase of this project which aims at creating a feral predator-free area of an additional 100’000 hectares – the largest total feral-cat eradication project by area in the world. The Newhaven project will secure a significant increase in the global population of at least 10 nationally threatened mammals such as the Numbat, the Central Rock-rat, the Western Quoll, two species of Bettong and the Bilby, among others. The Central Rock Rat is considered the most likely mammal to next go extinct in Australia. This project at Newhaven will help secure their future.