Since European settlement, the Southern Yorke Peninsula (SYP, traditionally Narungga country, has lost 82% of its terrestrial mammalian fauna.
The Rewilding the SYP project encompasses an area of some 120,000 hectares, at the end of a narrow peninsula approximately 40 km wide and some 140 km long dominated by cleared cropping land and sheep grazing country.
As the end of this peninsula is effectively an isolated mainland island, this region is ideally suited to trial new techniques and develop new ways of managing ecosystem health and functionality, to reduce threats and to conserve biodiversity without impacting non-target sites.
This project will reintroduce the critically endangered brush-tailed bettong (woylie), a small marsupial and specialist soil engineer, as a crucial first step to restore ecological health and processes for the long-term resilience and viability of the SYP ecosystems.
The longer term goal is to enhance the ecosystem health of the SYP by reintroducing highly interactive regionally extinct species and assess the strategic importance of the missing ecological roles (eg, top order predator, soil engineer, pollinator, seed disperser) to the functioning and resilience of the SYP ecosystems. To advance this project to the next stage requires additional funding.
The bettong reintroduction and its effects on the ecosystem is being undertaken by FAUNA Research Alliance. The overall project is supported by Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board through funding from The Australian Governments National Landcare Program, the South Australian Department of the Environment, and the WWF – Australia.
For more details on the full project and a list of project partners – Click Here!