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The Brown Antechinus community at North Head welcomes new members

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3 min read
A Brown Antechinus being released at North Head Sanctuary [Photo by Ian Evans]
The Harbour Trust is proud to share that its partner, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), is establishing a larger population of Brown Antechinus at North Head Sanctuary, Manly to protect locally extinct species.

This month, AWC successfully reintroduced Brown Antechinus to Sydney’s North Head Sanctuary, an area of high ecological value. The tiny predators took a scenic drive from Ku-ring-gai and Garigal National Parks to North Head, where they were microchipped for monitoring and carefully released into nest boxes.

The Brown Antechinus is a small carnivorous mammal found along eastern Australia. Their fragile future is a result of urban development, habitat fragmentation and predation by feral animals. Furthermore, male Brown Antechinus rarely survive more than one intense breeding season due to the energetic mating frenzy that leaves them exhausted.

The Executive Director of the Harbour Trust, Janet Carding had the opportunity to participate in the release of two Brown Antechinus at North Head Sanctuary on Thursday (21 April). She joined Dr Viyanna Leo, AWC Wildlife Ecologist, in releasing the new arrival into a nest box.

"We are delighted to be working with the (delete ‘the’) Australian Wildlife Conservancy to boost the population of the Brown Antechinus in North Head Sanctuary,” Ms Carding said.

“North Head's delicate ecosystem is home to a rich diversity of flora and fauna, and its preservation is central to the Harbour Trust's mission. Protecting these species along with the other reintroduced populations of native Bush Rats and Eastern Pygmy Possums is so important."

The newly released Brown Antechinus joined 140 Bush Rats which were reintroduced in 2014 - 2016, as well as 42 Eastern Pygmy Possums reintroduced in 2016-2020. The total number of Brown Antechinus that have been translocated to the sanctuary is now 49, including both males and females. 

The translocation of the new tiny mammals follows the successful reintroduction of the species to North Head Sanctuary in 2017. While monitoring the species over the last five years, AWC has found the reintroduced population across multiple locations in the sanctuary, and videos have captured them feeding on Banksia inflorescences - both positive signs of the species restoration. 

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