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Wildlife Region

Flinders Ranges

Feral Species Eradication

Since 2009 when Wild Bush Luxury took over Arkaba, a major focus has been eradicating feral species and reversing the impacts of over 150 years of livestock grazing, in order to restore the land to its pre-European settlement bio-diversity.  With 60,000 acres of terrain, the challenge is a work in progress, and one that guests can actively participate in should they desire. The team has implemented a myriad of successful conservation programs, including some funded under the Native Vegetation Council's 'Significant Environment Benefits Grant (SEB)' program, that covers feral animal control through baiting, trapping, nocturnal shooting and restoration of native habitat and vegetation.

These ongoing controls over 7 years alongside continued habitat rehabilitation through eradication of invasive non-native plants, arresting of soil erosion and the many monitoring surveys conducted throughout the varying habitats on Arkaba have had some exciting results: 

  • 2245 goats removed
  • 358 foxes disappeared
  • 212 feral cats no longer
  • 11,471,950 litres of water saved - assuming 2L water consumed per day per goat if every goat had been allowed to live for the 7 year period
  • 14,339,937kgs of vegetation saved - assuming 2.5kg eaten per day per goat if every goat had been allowed to live for the 7 year period
  • 4,369,050 native animals lived - assuming a conservative figure of 3 native animals consumed per day by both foxes and cats if every fox and cat had been allow to live for the 7 year period.

 

Arkaba Conservation 01

 

The team is already seeing the fruits of this labour, with the return of native species and the regeneration of native habitat. By summer 2012, the team recorded sightings of ten new bird species, including the Stubble Quail, Spotted Nightjars and the Horsfields Bronze Cuckoo. The Gidgee Skink was first spotted in 2011 and there is evidence of several established colonies. Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies are listed as "Near Threatened" due to their favoured rocky habitats being invaded by goats, foxes and cats. A 2012 survey of the Elder Range on Arkaba identified two colonies that with continued feral animal control, should spread and re-establish successfully. 

In 2016, Arkaba was proudly announced as one of the three finalists in the ‘Conserving the Natural World’ category of the esteemed National Geographic World Legacy Awards which recognises outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.