Warru, also known as the black-flanked rock wallaby (Petrogale lateralis centralis), are one of the most endangered mammal species in South Australia but were once abundant. Reports from the 1930s refer to ‘one of the commonest animals with swarming populations’. However, barely 30 years later they were considered rare and just 15 years ago the species was on the brink of extinction.
The Warru Recovery Team was established in 2007 to protect the remaining population and manage the species’ recovery. The warru is an important animal in Anangu culture, and senior Anangu women were keen to see the warru return.
The AW Landscape Board is part of this team, alongside Traditional Owners, APY Land Management, Zoos SA and independent scientists.
Over the past 15 years there have been many successes, beginning with the initial captive breeding program and construction of the predator-proof ‘pintji’ fenced exclosure.
In August 2022 another happy milestone was reached, with 40 warru released near Kulitjara in the Everard Ranges, establishing a new wild population in a place that has not seen wild warru for around 60 years. The new population is being monitored by Mimili Warru Rangers as they settle in to their new home.
The Warru Recovery Team is supported by the AW Landscape Board with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.