Australian Wildlife Conservancy has started work establishing the largest feral cat-free area on mainland Australia.
The Newhaven project will be the first project in Australia’s history to deliver a significant increase in the population of more than 10 nationally threatened mammal species including the bilby, the numbat and the mala.
Stage 1 of the project involves building 45 kilometres of conservation fencing to create a feral-free area of 9,450 hectares, protecting a diversity of habitats, such as a rugged quartzite range (home to a remnant population of endangered rock-wallabies), vast spinifex plains (with ghost gums) and red sand dunes (with desert oak).
A suite of regionally extinct mammals will be reintroduced into this vast cat-free area.
The feral-proof fence will be constructed by early 2018 and the removal of feral cats and foxes will occur during 2017/18.
Stage 2 of the project will see the feral-free area extended to more than 70,000 hectares – this will be the planet’s largest feral cat eradication.
The project will involve:
- the installation of more than 35,000 pickets
- rolling out more than 1,600kms of plain wire and more than 500kms of netting
- putting in place more than 12,000,000 clips to hold the netting in place.