Salvana reserve Little Desert

Rewilding the Desert: saving threatened desert species

Many Australians may be unaware of the extinction crisis facing our wildlife, with 31% of Australia’s mammals and 14% of Australia’s birds extinct or critically threatened. Despite the efforts of communities, researchers, businesses and governments, Australia is the global leader in species extinction.

Providing a solution to desert species extinction

fauna-research-allianceConservation Volunteers and FAUNA Research Alliance are bringing together all our organisational skills and expertise to secure Australia’s most threatened species.  Our new initiative, Rewilding the Desert, intends to secure the future of Australia’s threatened and endangered wildlife, and elevate Australia as a global leader in species conservation and research.

Conservation Volunteers and FAUNA Research Alliance are passionately committed to ensuring the survival of Australia’s unique wildlife through:

  • Reintroducing unique wildlife species to their original habitat and location
  • Building a renowned desert conservation center
  • Working within and beyond sanctuaries and reserves to recreate functional desert ecosystems
  • Nurturing an engaged community, dedicated to growing and sharing open source evidence-based knowledge
  • Building a hub of participatory, hands-on learning that purposefully connects people with nature

Action on the ground

two bush stone curlews

Bush Stone Curlews breeding at Little Desert Nature Lodge

Conservation Volunteers Australia’s properties in the Wimmera provide the practical venue to commence Rewilding the Desert:

  • Little Desert Nature Lodge – 110 hectares surrounded with an electrified predator exclusion fence, accommodation, conference room, workshop and other infrastructure
  • The Sanctuary – a separate 120 hectare block also enclosed by an electrified predator exclusion fence
  • Salvana – a private Conservation Reserve: 1200 hectares of Mallee habitat linking the West and Central Blocks of Little Desert National Park.

Guided by researchers from Fauna Research Alliance we will:

  • undertake systematic and ongoing surveys for fauna (invertebrates, reptiles, birds and mammals) and flora (mosses, fungi and vascular plants)
  • maintain and restore existing predator proof fences
  • breed for recovery ten threatened species including bettongs, bandicoots and quolls
  • deliver land management activities to reduce threats
  • provide training, education and sharing of knowledge and experiences in nature, to support Australians in identifying and addressing solutions to our wildlife extinction crisis.

Rewilding will create essential bonds: connecting people to wildlife as they engage in the initiative as volunteers, and connecting people to each other, in the knowledge that repairing our damaged land is critically important to our long-term survival.

Our joint venture will contribute to the Australian Governments Threatened Species Strategy.

Get involved

Become a partner

Do you represent a business, NGO, or other organisation with an interest in threatened species conservation? Get in touch to talk about partnering with us.


Support our joint venture to save Australia’s wildlife. Donate now via our secure online system!


Our volunteers include students, professionals, international visitors, retirees, in fact almost anybody can get involved. You don’t need any prior skills or experience, just a reasonable level of health and fitness. Book online.

For Further Information

Contact Ian Walker
Director of Conservation
Conservation Volunteers Australia
Email: [email protected]