In 1997 two members of the Roxby Downs community - Katherine Moseby, a young wildlife ecologist with a passion for the environment, and John Read, Land Manager for WMC Resources and long-time local ecologist - began the process of lobbying relevant organisations for support and assistance with the creation of a rabbit-free reserve for the purpose of ecosystem restoration and research.

By 1997, a steering committee had been formed from representatives of three organisations; WMC Resources (now BHP Billiton), the SA Dept for Environment & Heritage (now SA Department for Environment, Water and Natural Resources) and the University of Adelaide; to plan what was then known as the Roxby Ecosystem Restoration and Research Project. Shortly afterwards, local and wider community members with an interest in the project formed the community group known as Friends of Arid Recovery, thus completing the four way partnership.

A Memorandum of Understanding was developed, which set out the mission statement, aims and objectives of the program, and work began on stage one of the program; construction of the 14km² fenced reserve and eradication of all rabbits, cats and foxes within this area.

The project has grown considerably over the years with the expansion of the Reserve to 123km2 and four successful native species re-introductions.

In 2008 Arid Recovery become an independent not for profit organisation with a board of directors made up of members of each organisation from the original steering committee and independent members of the community. 


    The Greater Stick-nest Rat was reintroduced in 1998
    The Burrowing Bettong was reintroduced in 1999
    The Greater Bilby was reintroduced in 2000
    The Western Barred Bandicoot was released in 2001

More Information

Board of Directors


Year of the Quoll
12 Dec, 2018
Year of the Quoll – A reintroduction update By Nathan Beerkens 2018 was a big year. After two years of trials and research ( .. ..
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Arid recovery is a conservation initiative supported by:
adelaide university