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New Western Sydney National Park welcomes return of locally extinct species

New Western Sydney National Park welcomes return of locally extinct species
September 26, 2021

One of the largest new National Parks created in western Sydney in over a decade will see quolls, bettongs and the brush-tailed phascogale among locally extinct species making a historic return to the region.

The new 500 hectare site at Shanes Park between Penrith and Windsor is being created as a feral predator-free area with construction of specialist perimeter fencing expected to begin in the next three months.

Once complete The new National Park will be declared in early 2022 following consultation with local Indigenous groups on an Aboriginal name.

Introducing the new National Park this morning, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian stated “the pandemic has shown us how important our open public spaces are, they are critical to our mental and physical well-being.

“This project will not only allow the people of western Sydney a new place to enjoy the outdoors but they will also get to access a conservation area and one of the nation’s best wildlife experiences.”

NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean said the new Shanes Park site will become a tourist destination and will allow visitors to see what the Australian bush was like over 200 years ago.

Minister Kean advised “this is wildlife restoration on a grand scale and one of the biggest urban wildlife restoration projects in Australia’s history

“No where else in the country is the reintroduction of 30 species in an urban setting of over 500 hectares even being considered, let alone being delivered.”

“Visiting Shanes Park will be like stepping back in time to see the Australian bush alive with native animals as it was before foxes, cats and rabbits had such a devastating impact.”

The new National Park will enable visitors to see and experience some of our most unique, threatened and endangered wildlife and habitats in the heart of Western Sydney.”

Shanes Park is one of seven feral-free areas either established or being established in NSW National Parks providing a conservation benefit to over 50 threatened species.

Minister Kean added “a network of predator-free areas is an essential part of our strategy to protect and restore our most vulnerable native species and this new project will bring the total feral-free area in NSW national parks to almost 65,000 hectares.”

Public access to the new National Park is expected by early 2023 which will include a one of a kind visitor experience including visitor facilities, interpretive signage and an education centre which will run nocturnal spotlighting tours.

Of the 30 species to be reintroduced the following will be given priority: Brown Antechinus, Eastern Bettong, Eastern Quoll, Southern Long-nosed Bandicoot, New Holland Mouse, Brush-tailed Phascogale, Common Dunnart, Bush Rat, Emu, Koala, Bush Stone-curlew and the Green and Golden Bell Frog.

Up to 20 additional locally extinct and declining reptile and frog species will also be reintroduced into Shanes Park.

In addition to Shanes Park, three other feral predator free areas are planned:

  • Yathong Nature Reserve, near Cobar Central NSW, fenced area approx. 40,000 hectares
  • Ngambaa Nature Reserve, near Macksville North-east NSW, fenced area approx. 3,000 hectares
  • South-east NSW (Eden Bombala Region), estimated fenced area approx. 1,500 to 2,000 hectares

Existing feral predator free areas:

  • Pilliga State Conservation Area, near Baradine North-west NSW, fenced area 5,800 hectares
  • Sturt National Park, near Tibooburra Far North-west NSW, fenced area 4,000 hectares
  • Mallee Cliffs National Park, near Buronga South-west NSW, fenced area 9,570 hectares

Images: The Shanes Park site (top), the endangered Eastern Quoll (middle) and houses at the new national Park's boundary (below).

Related Articles

15th September 2021 - Volunteers and government agencies help Eastern Barred Bandicoot conservation status change from extinct to endangered

8th September 2021 - NSW National Parks set target of zero extinctions of species

25th August 2021 - Hills Shire Council supports plan for green corridor

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3rd August 2021 - Northern Beaches Council to apply for NSW State Heritage status for historical park

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8th July 2021 - Yackandandah Creek master plan to guide recreation facility developments

23rd June 2021 - Environment, parks and tourism secure new funds in NSW budget

8th June 2021 - NSW Government buys Broken Hill sheep stations to protect diverse western wilderness

4th June 2021 - NSW Government commits to new green space projects and expanded Great West Walk

27th May 2021 - Aussie Ark secures partnership with Volkswagen to protect endangered Australian species

25th May 2021 - 50-year vision looks to deliver greater protection for Sydney’s green spaces

24th May 2021 - Flinders Chase National Park visitor centre to be rebuilt following 2020 bushfire devastation

5th May 2021 - NSW National Parks opt for digital passes

16th March 2021 - NSW Government announces funding for parks and play

9th March 2021 - Local communities share $10 million funding for bushfire wildlife and habitat recovery

18th January 2021 - NSW national parks receive major infrastructure investment

15th January 2021 - Blue Mountains’ Wollemi Pines declared asset of intergenerational significance

10th January 2021 - Rehabilitation work continues on endangered Blue Gum High Forest

24th December 2020 - NSW Government returns 15,000 hectares of land returned to traditional owners to form new national park

1st November 2020 - NSW Government doubles goal for expansion of national parks estate

29th September 2020 - Amended plan paves way for Tomaree Coastal Walk and improved visitor experiences

24th September 2020 - Bilbies returned to Sturt National Park after 100 year absence

6th August 2020 - Bushfires and Coronavirus impact Australian tourism with no imminent respite

12th May 2020 - Bushfire affected wildlife and plants to receive $150 million funding boost 

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