Wilsons Promontory National Park – Prom Sanctuary

At the southern tip of the Australian mainland, Wilsons Promontory National Park has been protected and cherished for more than 100 years.

Referred to lovingly as “the Prom”, the park contains more than 50,000 hectares of natural beauty – including mountains, rivers and coasts, heath, forests and grasslands. Surrounding this diverse landscape are stunning marine parks and reserves.

A narrow peninsula – the Yanakie Isthmus – connects the Prom to the mainland, making it island-like. This feature makes the Prom ideal for creating a landscape-scale wildlife refuge – the ‘Prom Sanctuary’.

The Prom Sanctuary will support the recovery and re-establishment of native animals, plants and habitats. It will also connect visitors to the Prom in a new way – by witnessing rare wildlife being brought back from the brink.

Parks Victoria is leading this exciting, multi-year project, collaborating with many different agencies and organisations, aligned with the Victorian government’s Biodiversity 2037 strategy.

East Region ecosystem

The Vision

The Prom Sanctuary project aims to develop Victoria’s largest conservation sanctuary a world-class climate change refuge free from introduced predators and deer. The project will provide a safe haven for the best of Victoria’s wildlife and nature experiences for visitors.

Growling grass frog

At present, the Prom – its wildlife, native plants and natural environments – faces many challenges. Invasive animals such as foxes, deer and feral cats continue to have a terrible impact on native flora and fauna. Coastal tea tree is taking over significant swathes of the park, choking out other plants species. The Prom Sanctuary can tackle these and other challenges head-on.

Emus in Wilsons Prom


The phases of the project are:

Phase 1a: Build the defences. Construct a fence across the Yanakie Isthmus and establish an area of intensive fox, deer and feral cat control while the fence is being constructed.

Phase 1b: Prepare the ground. Extensive pest control programs, habitat and species monitoring, the upgrade of existing facilities in the park, including research and translocation facilities, and an update of the existing native plant nursery.

Phase 2: Bring them back. Multi-year, multi-partner collaborations to deliver habitat restoration at scale. Species translocation activities have already commenced and will continue throughout the project, though further funding is required to deliver this at scale.

Phase 3: Deliver benefits to people, conservation and the economy. With visitation expected to increase with improved environmental values and opportunities for and meaningful encounters with nature.

In five years, the aim is that the Prom Sanctuary will become a high-profile, international flagship for biodiversity conservation, drawing interest and visitors from around the state, nation, and throughout the world.

For further information about the project and how to support the project visit the Parks Victoria website.  You can also donate if you would like to support this important project.

Eastern Bristlebird


Rapidly changing climate adds urgency

Climate change is being witnessed at more extreme levels around the globe.  Recent events have underscored the urgency for a response to help nature at a landscape scale. Areas naturally buffered from climate change extremes are critical for the survival of flora and fauna species. The natural features and location of the Prom provides a unique opportunity to create a climate refuge on a landscape scale.

Grass Tree ShannonHaintz
Grass Tree Shannon Haintz


Traditional Owner relations

Parks Victoria is working with Traditional Owner communities that assert rights to the Country currently known as Wilsons Promontory. They are the Gunaikurnai, Bunurong and Boonwurrung Aboriginal clans.


Partnership development

There is strong buy in from Victorian lead agencies for zoological and botanical conservation with active on-ground and upcoming programs. The agencies collaborating with Parks Victoria on the ground are:

A Prom Sanctuary Technical Advisory Group has been established for 18 months, with representation from conservation and ecological expertise across terrestrial, wetland and marine ecosystems.

Continued strong support is being provided by the long-standing Friends of the Prom volunteer group.


Wilson's Prom Walking Track
Wilsons Promontory National Park

Strategy and planning

Extensive planning has been documented, including but not limited to:

  • ​20 Year Vision
  • ​​Threat Management Strategy – invasive species removal and control
  • Native Wildlife Risk Management Plan
  • ​Wildlife Restoration Plan
  • ​Fire Ecology Strategy
  • ​Wet Forest and Rainforest Restoration Implementation Plan
  • ​Coastal Grassy Woodland Restoration Implementation Plan
  • ​Heathland Restoration Implementation Plan
  • ​Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting Plan


Improved knowledge, surveillance, monitoring, rediscoveries

Diverse fauna and flora surveys have been undertaken, including through direct ground surveys and observation, the use of motion sensor and infrared cameras, and eDNA surveys in streams and water bodies. A range of threatened species have been rediscovered through these surveys, including Ground Parrot, native Board-toothed Rat, Lace Monitor goannas, Feather-tailed Gliders and Crimson Berry.

Remote camera arrays have detected additional poorly-known/rarely seen species including Swamp Antechinus, White-footed Dunnart, Long-nosed Bandicoot, Eastern Pygmy Possum, Long-nosed Potoroo and Southern Brown Bandicoot.

Long-nosed Potoroo

Threat reduction progress

Invasive plants and animals such as deer, foxes, cats and weeds are being eradicated from parts of the Prom. In the protected marine zones, pests are also being monitored, including the Northern Pacific Sea star and overabundant native Purple Sea Urchin.


Threatened species support

There have been 151 conservation-listed species identified as being present in the Wilsons Promontory National Park. Targeted site surveys for these species are underway.

Translocation of certain species is also underway, in partnership with Victorian and interstate agencies.


Wilsons Promontory National park