Wildlife Matters

A message from our CEO

20 Nov. 2018
© Braydon Moloney/AWC

By Tim Allard, Chief Executive Officer

As you read this edition of Wildlife Matters, AWC ecologists and land managers are in the field conducting biodiversity surveys, translocating threatened species into specially designed feral predator-proof areas and mustering feral herbivores, all with the aim of reversing the tide of extinctions.

Our mission is the effective conservation of Australia’s native wildlife, and it is your support that allows the team in the field to achieve this.

As the largest private (non-profit) owner of land for conservation in the world, AWC is implementing programs at an unprecedented scale:

  • Constructing a network of large, fenced areas – with six completed fenced areas and more planned, including Newhaven Stage 2 at approximately 100,000 hectares. Once completed, this will be the largest feral predator free area on the planet; and
  • Delivering a world-class science program that informs conservation programs across more than 4.65 million hectares. AWC employs more than 50 full-time scientists, 19 of whom have a PhD. The science team conducts research projects and eco- health monitoring programs to measure the ecological health of our sanctuaries and to inform our land management programs.

Critically, we are doing this in a cost-effective way. We have maintained our fundraising and administration costs at just 13% of our total operating expenditure. This means that for every dollar you invest, 87 cents is invested where it counts – in the field, delivering outcomes. We are focused on measuring the outcomes of our work and we are implementing a suite of performance scorecards that allows us to measure the impact of the work we do.

Of course, 2018 has also been a year of change for AWC, with the departure of our long-term Chief Executive, Atticus Fleming. As the inaugural CEO, Atticus oversaw much of the development of AWC and made a significant contribution to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species, including influencing how conservation is delivered across Australia and worldwide. These achievements were recognised when he received the Australian Geographic Society’s Lifetime of Conservation award. We congratulate him on his achievements and wish him well in his future endeavours.

Yet, the need for effective conservation continues. Feral cats continue to be the single biggest threat to Australia’s unique wildlife. Feral cats, along with wild fire and feral herbivores, continue to impact the landscape and cause rapid declines in many of Australia’s native species.

A business-as-usual approach cannot continue – and with your help, your investment, AWC’s ecologists and land managers are successfully turning the tide of extinctions through our strategic investments in science, conservation fencing and potential long-term solutions such as gene drive technology (in partnership with the CSIRO).

It is only with your generous support that we can undertake this work. On behalf of our team across Australia, thank you for your support and I wish you and your families a safe and merry Christmas.

Read and download this full issue of Wildlife Matters here.

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