(© DEC/ Babs and Bert Wells)
Project Eden is a unique conservation program that has created a protected environment on Peron Peninsula, allowing many plants, reptiles and small mammal populations to recover from the effects of habitat loss and predation. Project Eden has reintroduced bilbies, woylies and malleefowl into this rejuvenated region but is working to improve conditions still further so that other locally extinct species, such as bandicoots, red-tailed phascogales, chuditch and Shark Bay mice, can also be reintroduced.
As Project Eden looks to the future, it will continue to initiate and trial management techniques as it strives for better results from its reintroduction and feral control programs. Working with students, universities and other research and conservation groups, Project Eden is committed to helping find the answers to Australia’s complex conservation problems.
Project Eden and Dirk Hartog Island
With the purchase of Dirk Hartog Island for conservation purposes by the Western Australian Government a new phase of Project Eden will soon be underway. If complete cat eradication can be achieved on this large island, some of the smaller species that will always struggle to survive with even low level cat presence on Peron, will have a new refuge to call home in Shark Bay.
A model for future conservation
The present and future success of Project Eden, if maintained, will not only deliver enormous conservation benefits, but in the process, it will also provide vital insight and knowledge of arid ecosystems in general, and may even provide some new answers to similar conservation problems encountered elsewhere. It will create a unique area on this continent with an arid ecosystem that is functioning in a near natural state. Few places in Australia can provide a similar, virtually pristine canvas, in which to study the biological and ecological stories of our native species, in the absence of the threatening processes so prevalent across most of the mainland.
In addition to the scientific benefits of the project, the resulting Eden returned to its former glory will provide enormous opportunities for ordinary people to engage with and enjoy the beauty and mystery of this magnificent natural environment and to become better educated about its exciting history and ecology.