13 OCTOBER 2023
South32 is pleased to announce it is providing a new strategic social investment worth A$2.94 million for Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC).
The funding from South32 will be used in part to support AWC’s Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary conservation project, which is helping to re-establish, monitor and protect significant populations of threatened mammal species in Western Australia, as well as going towards other initiatives.
The 131,000-hectare Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary is located approximately 350 kilometres northeast of Perth on the traditional lands of the Badimia and Widi People.
The primary focus of the project is the reintroduction of a suite of threatened mammals into the sanctuary and their former range and, over time, enabling those populations to become self-sustaining. Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary includes a 7,838-hectare fenced exclosure within the reserve, which is the largest feral cat and fox-free area in mainland Western Australia, providing significant protection for mammals that are reintroduced.
To date, AWC has reintroduced 10 regionally extinct mammals to the sanctuary, nine of which are nationally threatened.
In total, AWC is on track to protect and significantly increase the population of nearly 10 per cent of Australia’s threatened mammal species.
South32’s funding will be used to provide financial support for science and ecological health monitoring, conservation and land management operations, and feral animal control at Mount Gibson.
In addition, South32 is supporting an AWC collaborative research initiative proposed to upscale threatened species and nature conservation in Australia. The research will explore how finance can be mobilised toward conservation and nature repair.
South32 Vice President Sustainability Strategy Holly Buschman said “We are very pleased to support Australian Wildlife Conservancy’s work. AWC’s Mount Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary is an important project helping to re-establish and protect threatened species, conserving these species now and for generations to come.
“Our support for Australian Wildlife Conservancy is one of a number of collaborations and partnerships that we have in Australia designed to promote improved and sustainable conservation outcomes in the regions where we operate.”
Australian Wildlife Conservancy, CEO, Tim Allard said the South32 funding will provide significant support to the critical conservation work happening at Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary.
“Mt Gibson Wildlife Sanctuary is an example of the best-in-the-world rewilding and once target population numbers are reached, it will deliver a significant increase for around 10% of Australia’s threatened mammal species. This is the greatest number of species ever restored to a single conservation site in Australia,” Mr Allard said. “Mt Gibson sets a significant new milestone in Australian conservation for the largest number of reintroductions at a single site. We are very grateful for the support from South32 which will provide much needed funding to help deliver these critical programs