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Australia Zoo Conservation Programs



Australia Zoo Education Program Australia Zoo animal encounters group experiences


Australia Zoo Conservation Area

  • 250 acres
  • The first piece of land within this area was purchased prior to 1970.
  • Currently incorporates over 250 acres of zoological facility.
  • Land area will expand as acreage becomes available.
  • Including threatened flora areas.
  • Endangered/ rare species, Black Cockatoos (Red-tailed, Yellow-tails and Glossy), Gliders (Feathertail, Sugar, Squirrel) Antechinus, Acid Frogs, Koalas, Echidnas, Richmond Birdwing Butterfly.
  • Locally extirpated reptile species- Frillies, Red-bellied Blacks and Tiger Snakes.
  • Last stronghold for many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
  • Riparian/ bush links and corridors.
  • Old growth forest.
  • Native reforestation habitat restoration.


  • 250 acres.
  • Purchased 2002.
  • Most endangered Sunshine Coast habitat type.
  • 250 acres of Heathland endangered flora type.
  • Endangered/ rare species, Black Cockatoos (Red-tailed, Yellow-tails and Glossy), Gliders (Greater, Sugar and Squirrel, Feathertail), Acid Frogs, Koalas, Echidnas, Antichinus, Richmond Birdwings.
  • Platypus.
  • Locally extirpated reptile species- Frillies, Red-bellied blacks and Tiger snakes.
  • Last stronghold for many species of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects.
  • Riparian/ bush links and corridors.
  • Old growth forest.
  • Native reforestation, habitat restoration.


Iron Bark Station

  • 3450 acres. Great dividing Range, where East coast meets dry West.
  • purchased-325 acres in 1994 to save a dwindling koala population- less than 12 left.
  • Immediately commenced reforestation including 44,000 Eucalypts.
  • Purchased 325 acres in 1998, of totally destroyed/ poisoned cattle property- commenced immediate reforestation, restoration.
  • Established 5 acre hack-out facility for rehab marsupials in 1999.
  • Purchased 1,000 acres of grazing property in 1999.
  • Year 2000, Lyn Irwin Memorial Fund.
  • Bob Irwin became full time manager of Iron Bark Station.
  • We will continue to expand on purchasing adjoining land as it comes available.
  • Iron Bark Station is designated as a wildlife sanctuary and Australia's foremost rehabilitation/ release facility for native species.
  • Since 2001 a full time wildlife rehabilitator has been instated.
  • Purchased 1,800 acres in 2002.


  • 5 acre marsupial hack-out enclosure for the introduction of injured and orphaned kangaroos, wallabies, bettongs, pademelons, potoroos to the wild.
  • Manager's residence, staff accommodation, wildlife emergency care, communications.
  • 2 fully equipped emergency/ rescue 4WD vehicles.
  • Fire fighting unit, field study headquarters, maintenance/ repair/ construction works sheds including tools and appliances, noxious weed equipment.
  • Lucas mill for recycling poisoned trees.
  • Machinery- 3 tractors, bulldozer, backhoe, forklift, all terrain vehicles, accessories, fuel depot and slashers.
  • Stockmen's / staff quarters, stock yards, camping ground.
  • Continued education base (staff only)
  • Koala, possum and glider hack-out enclosures.
  • Aviaries for re-habilitation. Hack-out for mammals.
  • Nursery for joeys.
  • Tasmanian Devil breeding facility
  • Quarries, landscape material stockpiles, loading ramps/ docks.
  • Access roads, tracks, easements, fire breaks.
  • Stock fencing- wildlife friendly.
  • Bulk grain silo, Bulk feed shed.


Daily programs

  •  Wildlife feeding stations.
  • Propagation/planting/reforestation of native trees.
  • Habitat restoration and maintenance.
  • Waterway management and dam construction.
  • General maintenance, repairs and construction.
  • Sick, injured and orphaned wildlife care.
  • Wildlife backing into the sanctuary.
  • Wildlife study.

Seasonal programs

  • Fire prevention.
  • Noxious weed control.
  • Feral pest eradication and prevention.
  • Slashing.
  • Irrigation of newly planted eucalyptus trees.
  • Machinery maintenance, overhauls and upgrades.
  • Fencing.
  • Scientific studies.

Annual programs

  • Wildlife surveys.
  • Road maintenance and upgrade.
  • Works repairs, maintenance and new construction.
  • Scientific Study.
  • Environmental assessment.

Future programs

  • Continued reforestation and habitat restoration.
  • Adjoining land acquisitions.
  • Cattle versus wildlife study.
  • Expansion of rehabilitation and hack-out facilities.
  • Establish Australia Zoo "off display breeding" and "run a muck" areas.
  • Reintroduce extirpated and critically threatened local species back into regenerated/ secure habitats.
  • Educate and train wildlife carers, Australia Zoo staff, university and college graduates.


  • 83 000 acres Located in the south western corner of Queensland in the most endangered habitat type in Australia.
  • Known as the "Brigalow Belt" (Acacia Woodland).
  • In 2000 a further 18,000 were purchased
  • Year 2001, purchased approx. 25,000 acres including 6,000 acres of pulled grazing land with sheep, cattle and goats.
  • 14,000 acres of virgin old-growth Brigalow Belt flora. 5,000 acres of grazed and logged woodland with minimal disturbance.
  • Year 2002, July, purchased adjoining cattle property approx. 18,000 acres including 4,000 acres of woodland which has been affected by long-term grazing pressure. 10,000 acres of virgin old-growth Brigalow Belt flora.
  • In year 2003 further parcels of 17 000 acres and 5 000 acres were added.
  • Infrastructure
  • Mangers homestead- including 2 generators, water and diesel tanks, solar powered communications.
  • Tack shed, feed shed, work shed and car ports.
  • Shearing shed, stockmens quarters, stockyards, cattle grids, workshop.
  • Access roads and tracks.
  • Campsites on permanent water.
  • Two 4WD vehicles, all terrain vehicles, tractor, backhoe, bulldozer, bobcat, and excavator.
  • 3 oil rigs.
  • Programs

    Current program

    • Fencing out neighbouring livestock, re-fencing, fence maintenance, old fence removal.
    • Eliminating kangaroo shooters and sport shooters.
    • Revegetating.
    • Cattle versus wildlife scientific study.
    • Repairs, maintenance, new construction.
    • Mustering, removal, eradication of non-native animals.
    • Habitat restoration.
    • Wildlife studies and fauna counts, environmental assessments, flora identification.
    • Improving water quality.

    Future program

    • Total ban on all shooters, especially professional roo shooters.
    • Feral pest management.
    • Revegetation and habitat restoration.
    • Scientific studies.
    • Upgrade roads and tracks.
    • Stock and feral animal proof fencing (wildlife friendly). Removal of old fencing and rubbish left over last 100 years.
    • Oil rigs to clean up.
    • Establish wildlife sanctuary status.
    • Construct hack-out and rehabilitation facilities.
    • Construct and establish an educational. facility and science/ interpretive centre.
    • Fauna surveys and environment assessment.
    • Adjoining land acquisition.
    • "Brigalow Belt" land acquisition.
    • Establish endangered species breeding areas for Bilbies and Northern Hairy-nosed Wombats, Womas & Yakka skinks.

    Endangered Species of the Brigalow Belt Region

    Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)
    The Greater Bilby was formerly found throughout arid and semi-arid Australia - as far east as Surat in QLD, and out to the western slopes of NSW. Its range has now significantly contracted to scattered colonies in acacia shrubland and hummock grassland from Tanami Desert (NT), the Greater Sandy Desert and Gibson Desert (WA), and in south-western QLD.
    The Bilby is best distinguished by long ears, silky grey fur and its unique long, tricoloured tail. Greater Bilbies use to live in over 70% of mainland Australia. Today a total of around 600 -700 animals live in far south-western QLD near Birdsville, a big reduction on previous populations.
    Habitat destruction due to the grazing behaviours of cattle and rabbits, as well as predation by cats, foxes and dingoes has resulted in the reduction of the Greater Bilbies range. Now that cattle have been successfully excluded from much of the bilbies current habitat it is easier for researchers to monitor their burrows and survey populations.
    To ensure the Greater Bilbies future conservation it is important to preserve the populations in areas where they now exist, increase the number of populations by translocating individuals to suitable areas, and implement appropriate control measures for cats, foxes and dingoes.

    Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat
    The Northern Hairy-nosed wombat is one of the most endangered mammals in the world today. With only approximately 113 animals left in the wild (and only 35 of these being female), this is one animal that without our immediate attention is going to disappear very soon.
    This species was once found as far south as the Victorian border. It disappeared from the Deniliquin and St George areas by the late 1800’s, and now only exists in a tiny 300ha of Epping forest in central Queensland.
    Currently the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service is conducting research on all facets of this animal’s behaviour and natural history, in the hope of increasing the existing population at Epping, as well as the long term goal of re-establishing populations in areas where they no longer exist. This combined with the protection and enhancement of habitat, will all assist the long term survival of this species.


    Bridled Nailtail Wallaby (Onchogalea fraenata)
    The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby has become vulnerable due to predation by feral cats, foxes and dingoes. The removal of vegetation by sheep, cattle and rabbits has also impacted on Bridled Nailtail Wallaby populations. In Queensland, the clearing of prime wallaby habitat of Brigalow and softwood scrub has reduced the area of this species preferred environment by approximately 95%.
    The Nailtail Wallaby is best distinguished by the black elongated nail on the tip of it’s tail. This species formerly inhabited the shrub and woodland of the semi-arid inland areas, living mostly on the slopes and plains east of the Great Dividing Range. The now small remaining population are found in open eucalypt forest, woodland and Brigalow scrubs of Taunton National park near Dingo, west of Rockhampton.
    Research suggests that the loss of native grasses, lack of preferred Brigalow regrowth areas, and drought within the limited habitat they occupy, will severely impede their recovery. This species also faces great competition for food with other grazers such as domestic stock and rabbits.
    For the future conservation of this species it is important that the existing population is monitored and maintained. New populations should be established in suitable habitats (this species has been successfully released on Idalia National Park near Blackall) and the implementation of appropriate control measures for cats, foxes and dingoes will assist in maintaining the populations.

    Aspidites ramsayi
    The Woma is a member of the python family and is a non-venomous snake which constricts it’s prey. Womas are terrestrial in habitat, utilising animal burrows and hollow logs for shelter. They can even make adjustments to a burrow by using their head as a shovel.

    Womas prey upon mammals, reptiles (including venomous snakes) and birds, and will ambush prey in burrows. When a Woma is attacking prey in a burrow, it may not be unable to completely coil its prey due to space restrictions, and instead it will press the prey against the wall of the burrow to asphyxiate it.

    Womas are primarily nocturnal animals, however more recent observations are revealing that at certain times of the year they may come out to bask during the day. Womas grow to an average of 3 meters in length.
    This species has a very widespread distribution, mainly across the arid inland of Australia, in particular desert areas. Whilst the Woma is currently classified as one species, there are three distinct forms which occur, and upon scientific confirmation these forms may even warrant sub-species classification. Two of the three forms are highly endangered.
    The south-western form, from Western Australia, is rarely ever sighted in the wild and is already in serious trouble, the other is the Brigalow form, from Queensland. This form is suffering from loss of habitat due to the current rate of land clearing occurring in the Brigalow Belt. It isn’t too late! Populations of the Brigalow form of the Woma will increase if the habitat can be saved.