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Twenty threatened Long-nosed Potoroos released into the Aussie Ark Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary!

Conservation organisation Aussie Ark is delighted to announce their first release of 2023! Twenty threatened Long-nosed Potoroos have been released into Aussie Ark’s Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary, which is a 400 hectare feral-proof sanctuary located in the Barrington Tops of NSW.

The Long-nosed Potoroo is listed as Threatened on the IUCN Red list and has been a focus species of the organisation for nearly a decade. It’s one of the smallest and most ancient members of the kangaroo family and is a living fossil, having remained relatively unchanged for around 10 million years.

Despite this incredible lineage, most Australians have no idea that Potoroos exist. This is even more tragic considering the species’ ecological role, which may ultimately save human lives. The Potoroo is referred to as Australia’s “little firefighter”.

Aussie Ark Managing Director Tim Faulkner says “Potoroos link with fire is one of the most compelling ecological stories, and after the horror of Australia’s 2019 Black Summer fires it’s a story that needs more attention than ever.”

“Potoroos help reduce the threat of wildfires! They are ecosystem terrestrial engineers. Potoroos eat mushrooms, truffles and fungi. To eat these things, Potoroos turn over copious amounts of leaf-litter on the forest floor; about an elephant’s worth of debris annually!” Mr Faulkner said. 

This extraordinary activity and natural behaviour displayed by Potoroos, helps with decomposition, keeping the ground moist, and reducing fuel load. Sun penetrates, new plants germinate, and the ferocity of fire is lessened. Which ultimately keeps Australia safe!

It was an especial thrill for Aussie Ark to have dozens of partners, community members, sponsors and donors present at the release to acknowledge the role of the Potoroo. This included members of the local Rural Fire Service. They arrived at the Barrington Tops’ facility in their fire truck, and were dressed in full fire-fighting uniform, and Ellerston RFS chief operating officer Brendan White was quick to pay tribute to Australia’s little unsung fire hero.

“Wish we could hire them on the force!” Mr White said. “None of us will forget the mega fires we experienced during Black Summer. It was unprecedented. And it’s predicted those fires will get more frequent and ferocious unless we urgently restore our bush. The Potoroo does exactly that.Aussie Ark is a world-leader in the breeding and rewilding of threatened and endangered species. The 20 Potoroos released today at the Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary once again demonstrates the success of their organisation’s breeding program and is another huge step securing an ‘insurance population’ for the future survival of the species.

The Long-nosed Potoroo is a focus species of Aussie Ark’s “1597 Threatened Species” campaign. It calls for businesses to donate $1597; one dollar for each species listed on the IUCN Threatened Species list. To help with this donation drive and engage more in the vital work Aussie Ark is doing to save the Long-nosed potoroo (and reduce Australia’s fire hazard!) please head to