About 40 Golden Bandicoots are now running around in Sturt National Park.
The species is the fourth locally extinct mammal that the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, in partnership with Wild Deserts, have reintroduced at the park.
Minister for Environment, James Griffin, said the latest release is a milestone in the mission to reverse “the tide of extinctions” in the state.
“Due to threats such as feral cats and foxes, golden bandicoots are extinct across 95 per cent of their former range, with the only wild mainland population found in a small patch of northwest Western Australia,” he said.
“The release of these golden bandicoots isn’t just good news for this species, it’s also good news for a range of other species that benefit from having bandicoots back in the environment.
“It’s incredible that just three years after the NSW Government reintroduced the first mammal in this project, we already have 10 species that were previously extinct in NSW returned to national parks.”
It’s hoped the site will be home to 900 golden bandicoots in the future.
Sturt National Park is part of the State Government’s rewilding network that is creating 65,000 hectares of feral predator-free areas across seven national parks.
It will also aim to provide significant conservation benefits for more than 50 threatened species.
Bilbies, Crest-tailed mulgaras and Shark Bay bandicoots have already been successfully reintroduced back at the Sturt National Park.
Tarla Matuwa Piarku Aboriginal Corporation (TMPAC) Wiluna Martu rangers from Western Australia delivered the Bandicoots to Wongkumara and Maljangapa traditional owners at Sturt National Park.
Wild Deserts’ project leader, Richard Kingsford, is grateful for the safe arrival of species and believes this is a significant step forward for the site.
“The return of this species into these deserts is so important ecologically because the golden bandicoots dig and turn over the soil, where leaves and nutrients collect and support the food web,” Professor Kingsford said.
“We are also excited to be playing a part in connecting and restoring this desert on behalf of the original Aboriginal people, linking two groups across the continent.”