Source: English News (Extract)
Posted: September 7, 2022

Over 50 threatened species are expected to thrive in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), as a successful rewilding project which has reintroduced 10 locally extinct species in NSW national parks is about to expand.

The state government said on Wednesday that the three existing feral predator-free sites in NSW national parks have reintroduced and increased the population of some species which previously disappeared locally, including Australia’s iconic bilby and bridled nailtail wallaby.

The project now will expand its scale, adding four new fenced sites in NSW national parks and expanding the total fox and cat-free area on the national park estate to almost 65,000 hectares.

“Feral cats and foxes are a huge threat to our native species and are a key driver of high extinction rates, with cats alone responsible for killing 1.5 billion native animals nationally every year,” NSW Minister for Environment and Heritage James Griffin said.

“We set out a bold plan backed by science to create areas where we could eradicate feral predators and reintroduce locally extinct animals.”

In NSW, 14 bird species and 26 mammals have become extinct in the past 250 years. The latest expansion of the project aims to help reintroduce 28 locally extinct species and conserve more than 30 threatened species currently surviving in the state.

It will see the partnership between the government and conservation groups in helping deliver the resources and expertise required to recover the ecosystem and remove feral threats.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service will also be granted 20.3 million Australian dollars (about 13.62 million U.S. dollars) to help carry out the plan and turn back the tide of species extinctions.