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7 conservation wins for Australian wildlife in 2022

The guilt and ecological anxiety that for many of us comes with being born into today’s world is a pretty heavy burden to bear. Our daily lives often feel overshadowed by the ecological context of this century: global climate change, biodiversity loss and the extinction crisis.

So, what can we as individuals do to ease this climate? And, how can we move through these doom and gloom emotions to focus on the positives and create solutions?

One way that works for me (every time, without fail) is hearing the good news stories: the ambitious ideas, the dedicated people and the exciting projects that deliver outcomes for wildlife sitting at the brink of extinction. Today, to celebrate this, we have compiled 7 (of many) amazing wins for Australian wildlife conservation from 2022.

7 conservation wins for Australian wildlife in 2022 | #itsawildlife
  1. Wild Deserts release Golden Bandicoot

A huge milestone for the Wild Deserts project in Sturt National Park, New South Wales was the release of Golden Bandicoot into a large fenced, feral-predator-free area in 2022. The Golden Bandicoot is the fourth of seven locally extinct species set to be reintroduced as part of this program. The reintroduction marks the return of this ecologically significant species (and the services it provides to its desert environment!) after it has been missing from this arid landscape for about 100 years!

2. AWC release critically endangered Central Rock Rat at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary

Very exciting news for one of Australia’s most threatened mammals, the Critically Endangered Central Rock Rat which has been translocated by Australian Wildlife Conservancy in August 2022. A total of 58 rats were moved from nearby unprotected areas to the rocky range, Wardikinpirri, inside the largeferal predator-free fenced area at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary, central Australia.

3. Amelia Formby begins flight around Australia

Amelia Formby, founder of Wing Threads, began her flight around Australia in early 2022 to raise awareness for the plight of threatened migratory shorebirds on the East Asian Australasian Flyway. We caught up with Milly in mid-2022, just as her novel microlight journey had begun. To hear more about this exciting adventure, check out our conversation or head to her website to fly alongside her (as she broadcasts her birds eye view!).

4. Bush Heritage acquire 5 new conservation properties

One of the largest challenges for Australia’s wildlife is loss and degradation of habitat. In 2022, Bush Heritage have taken huge steps towards overcoming this and protecting habitat across Australia for wildlife with the purchase of five new properties: one on Palawa country in Tasmania, one on Noongar country in Western Australia and three on Dja Dja Wurrung country in Victoria.

5. Threatened Kowaris released at Arid Recovery

The year 2022 marked another exciting milestone for threatened wildlife translocations at Arid Recovery in central South Australia. In August, 12 Kowaris, a threatened marsupial unique to arid Australia were moved into this fenced area where they can thrive without the threat of feral cat and fox predation.

Earlier in the year, we spoke with one of Team Kowari’s core members, ecologist Nathan Beerkens so to find out more about these cute and quirky critters, check out our conversation here.

6. Western Grasswren returns to Dirk Hartog Island in successful translocation

Dirk Hartog Island or Wirruwana on Malgana country, Western Australia is the first of five ecologically significant islands across Australia set to be cleared of feral animals to create a safe haven for wildlife. The Dirk Hartog project, Return to 1616, is especially ambitious with plans to reintroduce and introduce 13 species lost from the arid landscapes of that region.

In 2022, another successful reintroduction was completed, with the return of Western Grasswren in 2022. Earlier in 2022, we spoke with Kelly Rayner about the Dirk Hartog project so head over there for more information on this exciting.

7. Big intentions set for biodiversity at COP15

The COP15 international biodiversity conservation conference held in Montreal in December 2022 was an important one for Australia. Although it wasn’t as ambitious and urgent as some had hoped, Australia has agreed to some important targets including reductions in pollution, expansions of protected areas in both land and sea, decreased impact of invasive species on nature as well as increased protection for threatened species.

If nothing else, it sets an important tone for conversations surrounding biodiversity conservation in 2023 moving forwards.

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