Quolls, bettongs and brush-tailed phascogales are just a few of the locally extinct species making their historic return to a new national park and wild predator-free area in western Sydney.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said the 500-hectare Shanes Park site between Penrith and Windsor will be one of the largest new national parks in western Sydney for more than a decade.
âThe pandemic has shown us how important our open public spaces are, they are essential to our mental and physical well-being,â Ms. Berejiklian said.
“This project will not only give the people of western Sydney a new place to enjoy the outdoors, but they will also have access to a conservation area and one of the best wildlife experiences in the country. “
Of the 30 species to be reintroduced, 12 will have priority:
- Brown antechinus
- Oriental bettong
- Eastern Quoll
- Southern Long Nose Bandicoot
- New Holland Mouse
- Brush-tailed phascogale
- Common Dunnart
- Bush rat
- Green and golden bell frog
Up to 20 other locally extinct and declining reptile and frog species will also be reintroduced to Shanes Park.
Environment Minister Matt Kean said the new Shanes Park site would become a tourist destination and allow visitors to see what the Australian bush looked like more than 200 years ago.
âThis is a large-scale wildlife restoration and one of the largest urban wildlife restoration projects in Australian history,â said Mr Kean.
âNowhere else in the country, the reintroduction of 30 species in an urban environment of more than 500 hectares is even considered, let alone 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.”
Employment, Investment, Tourism and West Sydney Minister Stuart Ayres said the project would be a welcome addition to the growing list of attractions attracting tourists to West Sydney .
“It will become a must-see destination for visitors not only to greater Sydney and the entire state, but also the interstate and around the world,” said Mr. Ayres.
“They will be able to see and experience some of our most unique, threatened and endangered habitats and wildlife right here in the heart of Western Sydney.”
Shanes Park is one of seven wildlife-free zones established or being established in NSW National Parks, providing a conservation benefit to more than 50 endangered species.
“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 wildlife-free area in NSW National Parks to nearly 65,000 hectares, âKean said.
Public access to the new national park is expected by early 2023, which will include a one-of-a-kind experience, including visitor facilities, interpretive signs, and an education center that will host events. night visits.
Establishment of the wildlife-free zone will begin with the construction of specialized perimeter fencing, which is expected to begin within the next three months. The new national park will be declared in early 2022 after consultation with indigenous groups on an indigenous name.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) offers a total of 7 large wildlife-free areas across the state, providing new hope for over 50 endangered species.