Rewilding Shanes Park
The Shanes Park property presents a unique opportunity to restore the native wildlife of the Cumberland Plain and bring back animal species that have been lost from this habitat, and in some cases from mainland Australia. This is the last opportunity to secure a large feral-free reserve necessary for the survival of many remaining terrestrial fauna and the reintroduction of those species already lost. Will we let our woodlands become silent and empty forever?
Most of us are aware of the terrible loss of habitat which has occured - and continues to be promoted- across Western Sydney's Cumberland Plain Woodlands.
However while current efforts focus on restoring healthy vegetation it is our native wildlife which are dissapearing the fastest. Our woodlands are rapidly becoming empty and silent.
The decline of wildlife isn't just the result of habitat loss. Declines are happening within our reserves as introduced Foxes and feral cats decimate native species. Over two dozen native fauna species have been lost from Western Sydney due to predation and many others are on track to follow them.
As species are lost the ecosystem as a whole also suffers. Each species brings with it 'ecosystem services' which help maintain a healthy ecosystem and balance. In 1770 one of the most abundant animals in Western Sydney was the Bettong. These small animals were great diggers, turning over large areas of soil as they dug for roots and grubs. Today there are no Bettongs in Western Sydney and the entire ecosystem suffers through reduced soil health and diversity.
Rewilding Shanes Park
Thankfully this situation can be reversed. Almost all the species native to the Cumberland Plain still survive elsewhere, either in captivity or in islands and other safe habitats. Rewilding through the exclusion of introduced predators offers a practical and proven method to restore the native wildlife of the Cumberland Plain.
Shanes Park presents a unique opportunity to bring back this wildlife by creating a public-access predator free reserve. The property will soon be isolated on all sides by urban development and will need fencing to protect existing wildlife - so why not install a predator-proof fence and reintroduce the wildlife we have lost?
A parnership between Rewilding Australia, Conservation Volunteers Australia, Western Sydney University - Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment and the Cumberland Conservation Network has stepped forward with a detailed plan for 'Rewilding' Shanes Park.
You can read the proposal in detail here.
Shanes Park is the only unbroken reserve of sufficient scale remaining to restore our native wildlife. Without acting now to create this predator-free reserve, future generations will never have the opportunity to see Western Sydney’s most iconic wildlife species.
The future of the amazing wildlife of the Cumberland Plain is under serious threat. Please visit how you can help to support the protection of this wildlife as a Nature Reserve and Rewilding area, and ensure a Wild Western Sydney.