Australian Wildlife Conservancy Banded Hare-wallaby
One of our most endangered kangaroo species, the Banded
Hare-wallaby, has made a historic return to mainland Australia, more than 100
years after the last wild colony disappeared as a result of foxes and cats
return to mainland Australia for one of our rarest kangaroo species
One of our most endangered kangaroo species, the Banded Hare-wallaby,
has made a historic return to mainland Australia, more than 100 years
after the last wild colony disappeared as a result of foxes and cats.
60 Banded Hare-wallabies - 27 males and 33 females - have been
successfully translocated to AWC's Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary, where
they have been released into a 7,800 hectare feral predator-free area.
The animals were airlifted from Bernier and Dorre Islands in Shark Bay as
part of joint operation involving field staff from AWC and the Department
of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.
The Banded Hare-wallaby has disappeared from 99%
of its former range
The Banded Hare-wallaby is the sole survivor of a now extinct group of
mostly megafauna kangaroos; it is genetically and morphologically
distinct from all living kangaroo species. Once found from near the
Victoria/SA border to southwestern Australia, the last wild animal on the
mainland was recorded in 1906, highlighting the significance of its
return to Mt Gibson.
A Banded Hare-wallaby being released at Mt Gibson
The Banded Hare-wallaby is so vulnerable to cats and foxes that it
survives only in feral predator-free areas. The survival and
recovery of the Hare-wallaby - and several other threatened mammals -
depends entirely on the establishment of large feral cat and fox-free
areas such as at Mt Gibson (which is the largest cat-free area on
The feral cat-proof fence at Mt Gibson Wildlife
The Mt Gibson population of the Hare-wallaby is expected to grow to
~3,000 animals over the next decade, making it the first self-sustaining
wild population on mainland Australia for more than a century. The two
remaining wild populations (totalling ~5,500 animals) are on Bernier and
Dorre Islands. A reintroduced population has been established on AWC's
Faure Island since 2004. A small number of individuals have recently been
translocated to Dirk Hartog Island and a fenced sanctuary.
Staff transfer to the islands | The
Hare-wallabies arrive at Mt Gibson
The translocation was a complex logistical exercise. AWC's dedicated
staff were based on a boat in Shark Bay, making nightly forays onto
Bernier and Dorre islands to net Banded Hare-wallabies. Animals that were
caught, and which met prerequisites in relation to age and health, were
transported at first light by helicopter to the mainland, before being
flown in a fixed wing plane to Mt Gibson and released after dark into
their new, cat-free home.
Attaching a radio-collar prior to release |
Radio-tracking Banded Hare-wallabies at Mt Gibson
Daily monitoring has revealed an exceptionally high survival rate -
98% so far. You can watch a short video of this
historic translocation here:
Thank you to all AWC supporters for making this historic translocation
possible - together, we are turning back the tide of extinctions! I hope
you will consider making a tax deductible donation to help us continue our
work establishing new, secure wild populations of Australia's threatened
species. Your donation could be the difference between survival and
extinction for species like the Banded Hare-wallaby.
Chief Executive PS. AWC acknowledges the major supporters of this project:
Michael Tichbon, Perth Zoo, Lotterywest, the Northern Agricultural
Catchments Council NRM and Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and
Attractions. PPS. The nationally threatened Shark Bay Mouse is set to be
translocated to Mt Gibson in the next 6 weeks. It will be the 8th
endangered mammal reintroduced to Mt Gibson.