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Zoos SA and Aussie Ark mark National Threatened Species Day

Zoos SA and Aussie Ark mark National Threatened Species Day
September 7, 2020

To mark National Threatened Species Day, Zoos SA has announced the safe arrival and quarantine of six critically endangered and genetically unique captive-bred Plains-wanderer birds from Victoria’s Werribee Open Range Zoo. While Aussie Ark gives new hope to the Eastern Quoll, returning a species extinct from Mainland Australia for the last 60 Years.

National Threatened Species Day is commemorated across Australia on 7th September each year. The day aims to raise awareness of native plants and animals that are at risk of extinction. The day originated in 1996 to mark the 60th anniversary of the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

Over the last two hundred years it is believed that more than 100 species of plants and animals have become extinct with thousands of others at the risk of extinction.

National Threatened Species aims to highlight species under threat, to raise awareness of how we can best protect these and other species in the future and to celebrate the amazing conservation work that is taking place across the country.

The six critically endangered and genetically unique captive-bred Plains-wanderer birds moved to Monarto Safari Park in March this year as part of a national conservation breeding program that aims to save the species from extinction. The birds have recently come out of their quarantine period and are settling into their new, purpose-bred facility at Monarto Safari Park.

Zoos SA is currently working with the Recovery Team to bring more birds to the facility with Zoos SA’s Conservation Manager, Dr Liberty Olds noting “National Threatened Species Day is all about raising awareness of the species that are under threat of extinction. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the conservation work that is taking place, such as the Plains Wanderer conservation breeding program.

“Without conservation breeding programs like this, the future for the Plains-wanderer would be bleak. At present there are thought to be less than 1,000 adult birds remaining in the wild.

“The Plains-wanderer is an ancient and uniquely classified species and the only member of the Pedionomidae family. Considering its evolutionary distinctiveness it is definitely one Australian bird species that we can least afford to lose.

“Zoos SA is passionate about being part of this vital conservation program and helping to save the Plains-wanderer from extinction.

Dr Olds added “The Plains-wanderer conservation breeding program sees Zoos SA working in partnership with Taronga Conservation Society Australia, Zoos Victoria, and Featherdale Wildlife Park, as well as State Government departments in South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. Funding for the development and construction of the purpose-built facilities at Monarto Wildlife Park was provided through the NSW Governments Saving our Species program.”

Conservation organisation Aussie Ark has announced that they have returned the extinct Eastern quoll to the Barrington Tops for the first time in our lifetime. 28 Eastern quolls were released into the Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary, marking their return to the Barrington Tops in over 60 years.

The quolls are part of the organisation’s Eastern quoll breeding program. Through the program, Aussie Ark has successfully bred this vulnerable species in the Barrington Tops and now hold almost 90 individuals, a number that grows with every breeding season.  

Aussie Ark’s President Tim Faulkner says of the release “our ultimate goal is to bolster the Eastern quoll species’ population and rewild the Barrington Tops. The release of these 28 individuals is a massive step in the right direction.

“By replicating the needed healthy and safe environment, I have hope of joeys being bred into our sanctuary.”

Global Wildlife Conservation President, Don Church who supported this release, advised “these kinds of historic releases are the result of the impressive long-term vision and commitment of the Aussie Ark team.

“By strategically reintroducing the right species in the right habitats, Aussie Ark is leading the way on rewilding Australia, restoring the ecosystems to their original state. This benefits not only the quolls, the ecosystems in which they live, and Australia, but helps ensure a healthier planet for all life on Earth.”

Image top of Plains-wanderer bird courtesy of Zoos SA and image above of Eastern quoll courtesy of Aussie Ark 

Related Articles

15th June 2020 - Zoos SA announce reopening of Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park

11th June 2020 - Former Zoos SA veterinarian and conservationist awarded Member of the Order of Australia

3rd April 2020 - Zoos SA launch live streaming keeper talks

23rd January 2020 - Zoos SA plans wildlife recovery strategies following bushfires

20th February 2015 - Zoos SA releases plans for new wildlife experiences at Adelaide and Monarto Zoos

14th August 2020 - Aussie Ark announces winning project of its Conservation from the Couch campaign

15th July 2020 - Aussie Ark celebrates birth of two Brush-Tailed Rock-Wallabies at Barrington Sanctuary

23rd May 2020 - Aussie Ark commits to turtle conservation on World Turtle Day

20th February 2020 - Aussie Ark recognised internationally for its significance in fire and drought recovery

12th February 2020 - Aussie Ark commit to save critically endangered Manning River Turtles 

28th January 2020 - Aussie Ark coordinates regional assessment of endangered Brush-tailed rock wallabies

9th January 2020 - Aussie Ark secures wild protected sanctuary for koalas

28th December 2019 - Aussie Ark declares NSW State of Emergency for wildlife

18th November 2019 - Aussie Ark calls for wildlife support during bushfires

21st August 2019 - Aussie Ark announces most successful breeding season for endangered Eastern quoll

2nd July 2019 - Aussie Ark celebrates Record Breaking Tasmanian Devil Breeding Season 

14th May 2019 - Aussie Ark plays key role in the release of endangered Eastern Quolls

3rd January 2019 - Aussie Ark invites guest to view Australia’s most endangered species in wild environments

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