News from the Field, Press Release

Disney Conservation Fund helps reintroduce locally extinct species to Central Australia

16 Nov. 2021
Brad Leue/AWC

Once upon a time, in the land Down Under, a beloved animated mouse sought to protect threatened wildlife by supporting the scientific and hands-on protectors of all Australian species, Australian Wildlife Conservancy.

Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) has been awarded a grant by the Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) for its Newhaven Mammal Reintroduction Program, which aims to reintroduce 11 locally extinct species back into Central Australia. The DCF is proud to continue providing critical support to community-led projects creating a healthier home for people and wildlife. This fund has been supporting efforts in diverse communities around the world aimed at saving wildlife, inspiring action, and protecting the planet with more than $120 million distributed to non-profit organisations globally since 1995.


Disney Conservation Fund is sprinkling a bit of magic on Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary's Mammal Reintroduction Program. Joey Clarke/AWC
Disney Conservation Fund sprinkles a bit of magic on Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary’s Mammal Reintroduction Program.


Funds will be used to support AWC’s reintroduction project in Central Australia, the global epicentre of mammal extinctions where at least 20 mammal species have disappeared in the time since European colonisation. These extinctions are largely due to introduced predators: feral cats and red foxes. AWC is restoring 11 missing species to their former range by establishing new populations within a 9,450-hectare introduced feral predator-free fenced area at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary – Australia’s largest non-government protected area.

The nationally threatened Golden Bandicoot, Numbat, Greater Bilby, Brushtail Possum, Central Rock-rat, Western Quoll, Burrowing Bettong and Shark Bay Mouse (Alice Springs Mouse) are among the locally extinct species AWC will restore to Central Australia over the coming years. They will join the Mala, Red-tailed Phascogale and Brush-tailed Bettong, which were reintroduced to Newhaven in 2017, 2020 and 2021.


Funds will be used to support reintroductions to Central Australia, which is the global epicentre of mammal extinctions. Wayne Lawler/AWC
Funds will be used to support reintroductions to Central Australia, which is the global epicentre of mammal extinctions.


“AWC’s critical science work will be amplified by a touch of Disney magic in Central Australia, one of Australia’s most ecologically important regions,” said Tim Allard, Australian Wildlife Conservancy Chief Executive Office. “DCF’s generous grant helps us to move forward with wildlife reintroductions at Newhaven Wildlife Sanctuary which will more than double the global populations of some of these endangered species.”

The Disney Conservation Fund’s grant recipients are selected based on their efforts to implement comprehensive community wildlife conservation programs, stabilise and increase populations of at-risk animals and engage communities in conservation in critical ecosystems around the world.

For information on Disney’s commitment to conserve nature and a complete list of grant recipients, visit

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