Australian Wildlife Conservancy
Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) was established more than 10 years ago because Australia has the worst mammal extinction rate in the world and a very high proportion of their surviving animals and plants (over 1,700 species) are listed as threatened with extinction.
“Business as usual” for conservation in Australia will mean additional extinctions. AWC is therefore developing and implementing a new model for conservation to reverse the decline in their wildlife.
Their strategy is simple:
-Establish sanctuaries by acquiring land and through partnerships with landholders; and
-Implement practical land management – feral
animal control and fire management – informed by good science.
They are Australia’s largest private owner of land for conservation
From their origins dating back to the initial purchase of land in 1991 by AWC’s founder, Martin Copley, AWC is now the largest private owner of land for conservation in Australia.
They manage 26 properties, protecting endangered wildlife across more than 3.8 million hectares in iconic regions such as the Kimberley, Cape York, Lake Eyre and the Top End.
The AWC estate protects a very high proportion of Australia’s terrestrial biodiversity including:
-71% of all terrestrial mammal species;
-86% of all terrestrial bird species; and
-around 50% of all reptile and frog species.
AWC protects some of the largest remaining populations of many of Australia’s endangered species including Bilbies, Numbats, Woylies, Bridled Nailtail Wallabies, Gouldian Finches and Purple-crowned Fairy-wrens.
The secret to their success: action where it counts – in the field
Their staff are in the frontline.
Almost 80% of AWC’s staff are based in the field, delivering practical, on-ground land management to control feral animals, manage fire and eradicate weeds. The proportion of their staff based in the field is much higher than other comparable organisations.
AWC spends less on administration and funding.
In their 2015/16 financial year, 84% of AWC’s operating expenditure was incurred on conservation, with 16% on fundraising and administration combined (source: KPMG audited statements). Over the last decade, only 12% of their total expenditure (including capital) has been allocated to fundraising and administration combined. They spend much less on fundraising and administration than other comparable organisations.
Measurable results, practical land management and good science
The scale at which AWC undertakes practical land management activities such as fire management and feral animal control is unique within Australia.
-AWC implements the largest non-government fire management program in Australia (EcoFire, in the Kimberley).
-AWC has established the two largest feral herbivore-free areas on mainland Australia (Wongalara and Mornington).
-AWC manages more feral cat and fox-free land on mainland Australia than any other organisation, including the largest feral-free area on the mainland (Scotia).
Another distinguishing feature of AWC is the fact that 25% of their staff are field ecologists - they employ over 25 scientists of which 12 have PhDs. In the last five years, the AWC science program has generated over 100 peer-reviewed publications.See more