SIXTEEN Tasmanian Devils were released into a newly-constructed fenced sanctuary as a part of Aussie Ark on Thursday.
Aussie Ark is an innovative conservation initiative committed to delivering results for some of Australia’s most imperilled mammals, including the Tasmanian devil.
This historic event marks a long series of steps to prevent the extinction of the Tasmanian devil, along with numerous other small endangered mammals at risk of extinction.
Aussie Ark protects more than 100 hectares of land, subdivided into portions.
Existing now are 14 semi-wild fenced areas home to nearly 200 Tasmanian devils.
The smallest fenced area being three hectares and the largest, with a historic release taking place, being 64 hectares.
In excess of 90 per cent of wild Tasmanian devils have disappeared since 1996 and the insurance population at Devil Ark, located at the Barrington Tops, 74km from Scone, is now more important than ever.
Thursday’s release gives further hope to species.
The Tasmanian devils were released into the conservation area now a part of Aussie Ark.
Building upon the innovative and world-recognised Devil Ark model, Aussie Ark is opening its doors.
One of the first steps for the project is to establish insurance populations for each species, including endangered eastern quolls, potoroos, bandicoots and more.
Thursday also saw these animals released into their enclosures to start breeding for the project.
The area also has the ability to provide a safe haven for species native to the region such as the greater glider, spotted tail quoll and Hastings River mouse.
Once reaching capacity, Aussie Ark has plans to open up to 2000 hectares in size to provide homes to more than 1000 endangered Australian mammals.
Devil Ark was successful in crowd-funding $375,000 in January 2017.
The funds raised were for a further expansion of the existing facilities and to help Aussie Ark take shape.
Thursday’s release was made possible largely due to the success of the crowd-funding campaign and furthermore secures the future for the Tasmanian devil.
“Protected areas like Aussie Ark are necessary tools for conservation,” Tim Faulkner said.
“Without protecting our wildlife from key threats like feral pests such as the fox and cat, we’ll have no wildlife left for future generations.
“Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate on the planet and it’s our job to stop that from continuing to happen.”
With a vision of returning various marsupial species to the eastern highlands of Australia, Aussie Ark will provide on-the-ground conservation on a scale never before attempted, by focusing on the protection of key species in feral-proof fenced reserve.
Additional future relief to large protected areas is feasible.
As a not for profit organisation, Aussie Ark raises the necessary funds to continue its ambitious vision.
Investment allows for the construction of captive facilities and predator proof fencing on semi-wild parcels of land.
Aussie Ark is a registered environmental organisation and charitable institution under the Australian Charity and Not-for-Profit Commission.
Aussie Ark has deductible gift recipient status (DGR status) and is registered for GST purposes.
More information is available at www.ausieark.org.au