A New National Park Is Set to Be Established in Western Sydney to Help Reintroduce Locally Extinct Animals
The 500-hectare predator-free zone will help reintroduce quolls, bettongs and the brush-tailed phascogale into the area.
A 500-hectare site at Shanes Park between Penrith and Windsor has been earmarked to become a new NSW National Park. The feral predator-free area will aim to reintroduce locally extinct species including quolls, bettongs and the brush-tailed phascogale to the area. The project was announced on Sunday, September 26 by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with two primary goals — to create more natural public space for western Sydney residents and to assist in animal conservation efforts.
The wildlife restoration project will see the reintroduction of 30 species of animals into the Shanes Park area, which is slated to open to the public in early 2023. "This is wildlife restoration on a grand scale and one of the biggest urban wildlife restoration projects in Australia's history," NSW Minister for the Environment Matt Kean said. "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."
The NSW Government hopes the outdoor space and abundance of native species in the park will be a drawcard for both locals and tourists, with Berejiklian calling it "one of the nation's best wildlife experiences".
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Shane Park will join six other NSW National Parks which are established or will be established as feral-free areas. This project will take the total feral-free area across the state to almost 65,000 hectares.
The government is currently consulting with local Aboriginal groups in order to ensure the new National Park is given an Aboriginal name. The park will include visitor facilities and an education centre which will run nocturnal spotlighting tours.
Top image: Quoll by Andrew Arch
Published on September 27, 2021 by Ben Hansen