Earth Sanctuaries Ltd., an innovative Australian company, has gone bankrupt. Run by the unorthodox and outspoken John Wamsley and later by his wife, Prudence (Proo) Geddes, Earth Sanctuaries Ltd. (ESL) was Australia’s most ambitious attempt at private sector conservation. ESL successfully reintroduced 25 mammal species to their former range and eradicated feral cats, foxes, rabbits, and goats from more than 10,000 hectares. At its peak of land ownership in 2001, ESL owned 10 sanctuaries covering more than 90,000 hectares.
ESL bred the platypus, and saved several species from extinction, including Australia’s most primitive kangaroo, the long-nosed potoroo (Potorous tridactylus), the numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), and the woylie (Bettongia penicillata).
ESL may be gone, but its innovations will have a lasting influence on conservation in Australia.
Proo Geddes still emphasises “the importance of having a conservation entity based on outcomes rather than processes”.
Good on ya, Proo.
More on this Australian blog.