The AWC says his patronage will bring global attention to the plight of Australia's threatened native species and efforts to halt animal extinctions.
"A lot of Australians don't even know we have the worst mammal extinction rate in the world," says the conservancy's CEO Atticus Fleming. "I think it's the Prince saying that he has a special bond with Australia and the bush, and he recognises Australia's biodiversity and wildlife is globally significant, and that it needs help. We need help to put the spotlight on the loss of of wildlife in Australia, and he's going to help us do that."
Prince Charles will be the first official patron of the AWC, which has been in operation for more than a decade.
Chairman Martin Copely says the Prince has a lifelong record of supporting conservation: "He will play a vital role in raising awareness of the need for decisive, practical action to protect Australia's threatened wildlife. As patron of the AWC, His Royal Highness also becomes guardian of species like the greater bilby, strengthening the Royal family's connection to this iconic Australian animal. Australia has named a bilby breeding enclosure at Taronga Zoo in Sydney in honour of (Prince Charles' grandson) Prince George."
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy owns and manages three million hectares of conservation estates in the Kimberley, the Top End, Cape York and Central Australia, most of it former cattle station land.