Mala reintroduction project factsheet
Web version of the factsheet:
Since 2005 we’ve been running a mala (rufous-hare wallaby) reintroduction program inside Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
The mala once inhabited spinifex country throughout Central Australia. Today it is probably extinct in the wild, wiped out by European settlement, changing fire regimes and feral predators like cats and foxes.
For Anangu, Mala Tjukurpa, is central to their living culture and celebrated in story, song, dance and ceremony.
What is a mala?
- Rufous Hare-Wallaby Largochestes hirsutus
- Weight - males 800-1,600 grams, females 900-1,250 grams
- Listed as ‘endangered’ under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
- Classified by the Northern Territory Government as ‘extinct in the wild’.
Why are there no wild mala?
European settlement, predation by feral species such as cats and foxes, and the reduction of traditional Aboriginal burning practices affecting the frequency and intensity of fires.
Where were the mala prior to their release in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park?
Watarrka National Park which has a 100 hectare feral proof enclosure with around 200 mala.
Enclosure at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
A joint project between Parks Australia, Department of Environment and Heritage, Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory and the Mutitjulu Community.
Assistance in consultation with Anangu from the Central Land Council.
170 hectares, 5672 metres of fenceline.
Fox, dog and cat proof.
Commenced construction April 2004, completed September 2005.
Over $44 000 paid in wages to Mutitjulu Community (Anangu) members during construction.
More than 35 Mutitjulu Community members directly involved in the construction of the fence; many others from Mutitjulu and other communities involved in consultation at all stages of the project.
When did the mala return to the park?
Mala were captured on 28 September 2005 from the enclosure at Watarrka National Park and brought to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park for release on the morning of 29 September 2005.
25 mala were originally transferred to Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.
Today there are 220 mala in the fenced-off enclosure. It is hope this population will help secure the long-term survival of the species.