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Open-Range Sanctuary Planned for Yorke Peninsula

wombat.JPGWork on Australia’s largest open-range wildlife sanctuary on the Yorke Peninsula is set to start in February.

The $17 million project is aiming to reduce the populations of foxes and wild cats by constructing a 23km fence on the southern part of the peninsula.

The Great Southern Ark will involve the reintroduction of animal species at risk of Australia-wide extinction, including southern brown bandicoots and western quolls.

The native predators would help reduce pest species including house mice, rabbits and wild cats.

Led by the Northern and Yorke Natural Resources Management Board the project is expected to cost about $17 million over 20 years.

The project’s first stage will create a 130,000ha sanctuary with construction expected to begin in about six weeks, and be complete by June.

In about a decade, the project partners hope to build a second, 30km fence, isolating the peninsula’s ‘ankle’ running from near Stansbury to Hardwicke Bay, extending the total sanctuary area to about 150,000ha.

The 1.8m-tall fences would follow existing fence lines, with breaks in the perimeter where roads pass through.