Adelaide Zoo

Little phascogales’ big journey to save species

Zoos SA has celebrated World Wildlife Day today by making the big journey across two states to release 21 little locally-extinct Red-tailed Phascogales into the wild.

The tiny mammals will be reintroduced tonight to Mallee Cliffs National Park in NSW after travelling over 450km from Adelaide Zoo’s conservation breeding program.

In a partnership with Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), Zoos SA has been working to save the native species from extinction by breeding an ex-situ population for release into predator-free sanctuaries, such as the 9,570-ha fenced feral animal free haven at Mallee Cliffs.

The 11 females and 10 males will be added to the population of 93 released into the national park in the past two years.

Zoos SA’s Conservation Coordinator, Lisa West, said the Zoos SA team worked with AWC ecologists to fit each phascogale with a tiny specially-designed tracking collar, which have been designed to naturally break off after four to six weeks.

“We are very excited to be part of another release at Mallee Cliffs National Park, particularly on World Wildlife Day,” she said.

“Our dedicated keepers work extremely hard to ensure these little mammals thrive in the wild and to make sure this precious native species is here for years to come.

“We’ve fitted each animal with a tiny collar that will allow us to monitor the phascogales’ transition into their new environment and will give us vital information into their movements and behaviour.

“This program is just one of Zoos SA’s many conservation initiatives, which are making a huge difference for native Australian species and ecosystems.”

The Red-tailed Phascogale was once found across most of arid and semi-arid Australia, however they now occupy just one per cent of their former habitat range.

Sadly, this is the reality for many species both across Australia and around the globe.

This World Wildlife Day we’d love our supporters to make a commitment to conservation to help us continue our vital work across 26 national and international conservation priorities.

By becoming a Life Member of Zoos SA you are not only jumping on board for the adventure of a lifetime, but also giving a lifeline to species in danger.

For a limited time, we’ve lowered Life Memberships from $2,750 to $2,495. Plus, you can pay this over four monthly instalments of $623.75, which each dollar helping protect amazing species such as the Red-tailed Phascogale, Brush-tailed Bettong and Orange-bellied Parrot.

For more information or to make a commitment to lifetime of wildlife this World Wildlife Day, please visit