Australian mammals have been subject to a range of threats that have contributed to species declines and extinctions since European settlement. Invasive predators, namely the European Red Fox Vulpes vulpes and the feral Cat Felis catus, are particularly detrimental to small to medium–sized terrestrial mammals. Suppression of these predators is critical to the persistence of many native species. However, few broad–scale fox baiting programs exist in Australia and the efficacy of cat control measures is extremely limited. One of the most successful approaches to safeguarding threatened species from these impacts is the establishment of predator–exclusion areas; offshore islands or mainland ‘islands’ protected by predator–proof fencing. The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is a not–for–profit private conservation organisation that has established several predator–free ‘islands’ for conservation purposes. This brief summary of the work undertaken in these predator–proof reserves highlights how threatened species can persist and even thrive when foxes and cats are excluded, with examples from the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Onychogalea fraenata, Burrowing Bettong Bettongia lesueur and Bilby Macrotis lagotis.

This content is only available as a PDF.