23 Nov HISTORY
Aussie Ark, (initially named Devil Ark) was created by the Director of Australian Reptile Park (ARP), John Weigel AM, based on his vision and passion to save the Tasmanian devil. It was developed in partnership with ARP, the Zoo Aquarium Association (ZAA) and the Foundation for Australia’s Most Endangered Species (FAME) as a response to the need for a large insurance population of the species for future release back to Tasmania.
Devil Ark was initially set on 500 hectares and located at an altitude of 1,350 metres in the heritage-listed Barrington Tops. The project aimed at providing large fenced areas for social groups of Tasmanian devils to express natural behaviours, reproduce naturally, and optimise genetic diversity while being cost-effective. Devil Ark Incorporated was created in 2011 and the Devil Ark Conservation Fund was given Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status in 2012. Devil Ark was launched on 18th January 2011 with the arrival of 44 founder devils.
The enormous and ongoing success of Devil Ark led to the organisation holding over 150 Tasmanian devils by 2013, equalling 52% of the mainland population. The innovative approach and accomplishments led to the facility expansion in 2017 to include 6 additional threatened species, and transitioning into the now Australia’s Wildlife Ark Inc (Aussie Ark).
The organisation has built upon its initial success, now boasting over 2000Ha of natural bush habitat which also protects , 50 species of mammals, 278 species of birds, 42 species of reptiles and 18 species of frogs already residing in the area from unnatural predation.
- 2011 – Devil Ark launched
- January 18, 2011 – Released first 44 “founder” devils
- June 23, 2011 – Announced new litters of devils
- September 2, 2011 – Official Devil Ark opening
- March 27, 2012 – Population reached 94
- July, 2012 – 40 Tasmanian devil joeys born at DA
- May 21, 2013 – Devil Ark Director, John Weigel announced as a finalist for this year’s UNAA World Environment Day Awards
- August 15, 2013 – Announced 35 Tasmanian devil joeys born
- November 27, 2014 – Announced finalist in NSW tourism awards
- June 3, 2015 – Announced the return of 23 Tasmanian devils back to Tasmania
- July 7, 2015 – Announced 27 confirmed Tasmanian devil joeys born
- Nov 4, 2015 – Devil Ark President and General Manager, Tim Faulkner awarded Australian Geographic, Conservationist of the Year
- March 8, 2016 – Devil Ark Director, John Weigel honoured by the Australian Wildlife Society with the Serventy Conservation Award.
- November 3, 2016 – Devil Ark’s Inaugural Gala Dinner
- December 12 2016 – Devil Ark Inc became Australia’s Wildlife Ark Inc.
- April 26, 2017 – Launched opening of eco-tourism, short stay accommodation
- July 14, 2017 –Announced 51 Tasmanian devil joey’s confirmed
- July 16 2017 – Confirmed 12 Eastern quoll joeys born at Aussie Ark – the first born in the Barrington region in 100 years
- November 8, 2017 – Second Devil Ark Gala dinner held at Rosehill Gardens Sydney
- November 8, 2017 – Official opening of Aussie Ark’s first 64Ha Sanctuary with the release of 20 Tasmanian devils
- April 20, 2018 – Announced first Parma Wallaby joey to be born at AA
- July 1st 2018 – Construction begins on Aussie Ark’s Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary
- August 1 2018 – Construction begins on purpose built Brush tail rock wallaby facilities
- August 16 2018 – Confirmed 30 Eastern quoll joeys born
- September 2018 – Confirmed 48 Tasmanian devil joeys for born