Arkaba Private Wildlife Conservancy Announced As Finalist In National Geographic World Legacy Awards
Wild Bush Luxury’s South Australian property, Arkaba, has been announced as one of only three finalists in the Conserving the Natural World category of the esteemed National Geographic’s World Legacy Awards, recognising the important conservation efforts Arkaba continues to make.
The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between the National Geographic Society and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organisations and destinations – ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to geoparks – driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet.
The category Arkaba is a finalist in, Conserving the Natural World, recognises outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.
After adding Arkaba to its portfolio of luxury tourism destinations in 2009, Wild Bush Luxury has systematically restored the 25,800 hectare (60,000-acre) former sheep station into a thriving wildlife conservancy. Sharing its scientific monitoring of the area’s biodiversity with its guests, conservation groups and community members, Wild Bush Luxury is demonstrating that ecotourism can be a vehicle for nature conservation and rural economic growth.
Some of the key initiatives Wild Bush Luxury has and continues to implement at Arkaba include the removal of feral herbivores such as goats and rabbits to remove the competitive grazing pressure; removal of feral predators, such as foxes and cats; weed control and anti-erosion measures; and education of their staff and guests.
These elements contributed to the award application positioning Arkaba as a finalist.
Owner and manager of Wild Bush Luxury, Charles Carlow, is deeply passionate about the conservation efforts at his properties and is delighted to be made a finalist for such a prestigious award.
“Blending our tourism with conservation is such an important focus of Wild Bush Luxury’s properties and to be recognised amongst some of the world’s leaders in this area is really humbling,” Mr Carlow said.
He continues, “In the space of just four years we are seeing the results of our feral management programs and destocking: the return of bird and mammal species to the property; a general increase in existing wildlife populations; a revival of natural springs; and regrowth in River Red gums to name a few.
“By ensuring we have the best conservation processes in place we are also able to offer a wildlife experience that not only prevents leaving a negative footprint on the earth, but actually has a positive effect on the environment.
“While we derive great satisfaction from our conservation work, these awards provide true recognition of the work that our team has put in to creating the Arkaba conservancy.”
The awards have five separate categories, with a total of 15 finalists. The winners will be announced at the World Legacy Awards ceremony on 10 March, 2016, during ITB Berlin. Finalists and winners will also be featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine and other National Geographic media.