Gary Dunnett, Executive Officer, NPA NSW
Re-wilding emerged on the Australian conservation scene atop John Wamsley’s feral-cat skinned hat. Despite all the attention on killing cats and foxes, the core concept of rewilding is gentle simplicity itself – remove the competitors to native species, stop them from coming back, then give nature the chance to take care of itself.
Why then, more than fifty years later, are we still grappling with whether re-wilding has a place in the NSW Protected Area Network? I suspect the answer lies in our continuing unease about whether the environmental impacts of introducing hard barriers into ‘natural’ landscapes outweigh the environmental benefits of controlling feral species and re-introducing locally extinct wildlife.