The land that time forgot
29 July, 2012
Reporter: Alex Cullen
Producer: Mick O'Donnell
The Artesian Range in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia has been dubbed a ‘land that time forgot’. Its hidden valleys and canyons have remained virtually untouched by modern civilisation, leaving a haven for some of the most fragile of our country’s small mammals.
It’s perhaps the only place in Australia where not one species of mammal has gone extinct since European settlement.
There’s been a catastrophic decline in small mammals across northern Australia in recent decades.
According to independent studies, even in the showcase Kakadu National Park small mammal populations have declined by more than 75% in the last 15 years. Now, the same threat faces the Artesian Range, until now a last-stand refuge for rare creatures like the Golden Bandicoot and Northern Quoll, which have disappeared from Kakadu.
Reporter Alex Cullen travelled to the remote Range with the small, passionate band of conservationists from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy who are helping these animals stave off extinction. Controlled burns, wildlife tagging and monitoring of feral cats are all part of the strategy to keep these vulnerable populations thriving.