Conservation organisation Aussie Ark has been granted $850,000 from the Australian government as part of a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation initiative.
The purpose of the grant is to provide funding to assist bushfire affected wildlife through emergency interventions, such as through captive breeding, under the Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Program.
Aussie Ark are experts in the field of insurance population breeding programs and rewilding. The funds will go towards the expansion of already existing programs for the endangered Manning River turtle and brush-tailed rock-wallaby.
Additionally, Aussie Ark will use the funds to establish a new conservation breeding program for the endangered giant barred frog and the stuttering frog, which is classified as vulnerable. Both species of frog were impacted by the devastating bushfire season 12 months ago.
The programs will involve the construction of specialised facilities onsite at both the Australian Reptile Park in Somersby and Aussie Ark in the Barrington Tops. The facilities will allow for the housing, breeding and development of species. The funds will also be used to conduct in-situ surveys to help establish locations and population abundance of the species in the wild.
"These funds will have such an impact on the species. The expansion and creation of breeding programs is critical to their survival in the wild, without these programs our wildlife will disappear," Aussie Ark president, Tim Faulkner said.
Aussie Ark have shown how rescue, rehabilitation and insurance population breeding programs can be successful in conservation. The organisation rescued multiple platypus during the bushfire season. and relocated more than 200 turtles. The platypus have all since returned to the waterways they were rescued from.
Aussie Ark is known for rewilding lost species back to the Barrington Tops landscape. These programs outline the positive outcomes they can have on wildlife conservation and rewilding.
"Rewilding is critical to the long-term survival of species, but rewilding is only possible when insurance populations are established," Tim Faulkner said.
"We are looking forward to working with the Australian government to see these long-term outcomes."
Head to aussieark.org.au to learn more about these projects and follow Aussie Ark on Facebook and Instagram to follow their progress.