Wild Deserts is an exciting partnership between the University of New South Wales and Ecological Horizons, in collaboration with Taronga Conservation Society Australia and the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, with a vision to understand, restore and promote desert ecosystems.
The project aims to bring back seven locally extinct mammals to the NSW corner country, using large fenced exclosures and a range of innovative predator control and research techniques in Sturt National Park.
After completing 40 km of specialised feral-proof fencing in October 2018, the Wild Deserts team, a partnership between UNSW, Ecological Horizons and the NSW Government has now completed the mammoth task of eradicating every last rabbit, cat and fox from two fenced exclosures, each 4 km x 5 km (totalling 40-square-kilometres). In September 2020, they started reintroducing mammals that were once widespread in NSW but have not been seen for over a century.
The mammals being reintroduced are the greater bilby, western barred bandicoot, golden bandicoot, greater stick-nest rat, burrowing bettong, crest-tailed mulgara and the western quoll.