Environment Minister Matt Kean today unveiled plans to turn back the tide of extinctions by more than tripling the area of feral cat and fox-free land in the state’s national parks.
The $20 million plan will establish four new areas, in addition to the three existing feral-free areas, bringing the total fox and cat-free area in NSW national parks to almost 65,000 hectares.
“This is one of the most significant wildlife restoration projects in the State’s history, by establishing four new feral predator free areas we are paving the way for the return of wildlife that has been lost from our national parks as a result of feral cats and foxes,” Mr Kean said.
“Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world, feral cats alone kill more than 1.4 billion native animals every year, with many surviving species at risk of extinction.”
It is estimated well over 50 threatened species are expected to benefit from the program including 28 locally extinct species and more than 30 threatened species currently surviving in national parks.
The four new sites will be:
- Western Sydney – Castlereagh Nature Reserve
- Central NSW – Yathong Nature Reserve
- North-east NSW - Ngambaa Nature Reserve
- South-east NSW – Eden Bombala Region
“We have been guided by the science in identifying the new locations, which will include NSW’s first feral-free sites in tall wet forests (north-east and south-east NSW),” Mr Kean said.
“This project draws a line in the sand – not only will we double our efforts to stop extinctions, we are committed to reintroducing threatened species and restoring their populations.”
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