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Endangered species given a second chance at Safe Haven

Tina and Peter founded the program 10 years ago under Australian Animal Care and Education.
Tina and Peter founded the program 10 years ago under Australian Animal Care and Education. Luka Kauzlaric

WHEN Tina Janssen and her partner Peter Brooks made a move from Marlborough to near Mt Larcom, their home was not the first shelter built on the property.

First was the air-conditioned wombat facility, an area allocated to their 19 southern hairy-nosed wombats that are part of a research and breeding program.

Safe Haven is a breeding and research facility for critically endangered native animals, including bridled nail-tail wallabies.

It also serves as a rehabilitation centre for ill or orphaned animals, such as lizards, gliders and recently, a black swan they named Ben.

"We have so many endangered species in Queensland already that we're going to have a mass extinction," Ms Janssen said.

"When these animals are gone, my grandkids are only going to see (them) in books."

Tina and Peter founded the program 10 years ago under Australian Animal Care and Education.

"When my father came to Australia in the early 50s his first pet was a grey kangaroo - so it was my father's fault that I did this. He was very passionate about Australian wildlife," Ms Janssen said.

With the help of university students and volunteers, the research program aims to develop an artificial insemination program for the southern hairy-nosed wombat.

They are also determined to improve natural breeding techniques and husbandry.

Once this is established, they plan to use these techniques on the critically endangered northern hairy-nosed wombat.

Ms Janssen said there were about 200 northern hairy-nosed wombats left in Australia, with land clearing and introduced grass species the main cause of it being endangered.

"Somebody's got to save our endangered species," Ms Janssen said. "I figured I would use my skills, which are in Australian native marsupials, to help do that.

"We can talk about it or we can actually get in and do something."

Late last year, 10 QGC workers helped by building a second wombat facility.

Safe Haven has applied for the Sunsuper Dreams grant competition, valued at $5000.

To vote for their dream, visit sunsuperdreams.com.au, click on the all dreams tab, sort dreams by category, select environment and click on Alyce's dream.

You can also visit Safe Haven - AACE on Facebook.

Topics:  animal refuge mount larcom native wildlife wildlife wombat



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