Life on Naree Station has its rhythms, its own ebb and flow.
The reserve's wetlands and the populations of aquatic creatures that live here fluctuate radically from season to season, year to year.
When the rains come and the area floods, water birds, such as ibis, cormorants and herons, flock to the wetlands to forage and feed their young.
Located on the inland floodplains of northern New South Wales, 130km from the nearest town of Bourke, Naree became Bush Heritage's 35th reserve in 2012, thanks to thousands of supporters who rallied to get behind the purchase.
Naree sits at the head of the nationally significant wetlands of the Cuttaburra Channels and Yantabulla Swamp, which during flood events become home to an incredible 50,000 breeding water birds and are rated as one of the 20 most important water bird sites in Australia.
With diverse woodlands of belah and blackbox, the reserve also provides natural habitat for bearded dragons, little red flying foxes, grey-crowned babblers and the kultarr, a shy and endangered little marsupial.
This makes it all the more crucial that this exceptional property is protected by an organisation like Bush Heritage, which has the expertise and support - thanks to the generosity of our supporters - to conserve it.
What this reserve protects
Photo by Steve Parish.
Black fronted dotterel.
Photo by Peter Morris
Kultarr. Photo by Jiri Lochman
Naree is in one of the least disturbed parts of the Murray-Darling Basin. The wetlands fill from Cuttaburra Creek, which branches from the Warrego river. Downstream are the Cuttaburra Channels which feed the Paroo River.
The area's diverse vegetation provides a refuge for the iconic wetland species, as well as many native animals, reptiles and woodland birds.
The reserve protects these significant species and vegetation communities:
- Brolga (vulnerable)
- Black-necked stork
- Freckled duck (vulnerable)
- Back-fronted dotteral
- Little red flying fox
- Pied honeyeater (vulnerable)
- Spotted harrier (vulnerable)
- Brown treecreeper (vulnerable)
- Kultarr (endangered)
- Coolabah tree
- Coolabah swamp
- Blackbox swamp
- Lignum swamp
- Yapunyah woodland
What we’re doing on the property
Former owner Paul Kaluder
Selling to Bush Heritage, with their values, and the way they look after their land is something we're delighted with. It's a good thing to see something you've nurtured go to someone who will carry it on.
A permanent Bush Heritage reserve manager in residence at the Naree Station homestead will be responsible for conservation activities on the property.
In 2013 Bush Heritage did a major biological survey of Naree. Understanding the animal populations and the composition and condition of vegetation is an important first step toward Bush Heritage making decisions about how to best manage the property. Water bird populations have been surveyed on Naree for a number of years by Professor Richard Kingsford. The survey will complement that work by focussing on flora and other fauna of the property's woodlands and wetlands.
Part of the reason the property is in such good condition is the sustainable approach that the previous owners Paul and Debbie Kaluder and their family took with their cattle production enterprise. Because of the improvements in condition achieved by the Kaluders, we will be trialling something new for Bush Heritage on Naree Station. While protecting sensitive habitats and ecosystems, we will continue to graze cattle on the property to assess the potential for achieving joint conservation and production outcomes. We will communicate our findings to the wider pastoral sector, particularly within the Warrego and Paroo catchments.
As with all Bush Heritage reserves, we will manage feral animals, especially goats and pigs which are prevalent at Naree. Our feral management programs will help to reduce grazing pressure on Naree's native vegetation, and will help it to regenerate.
We will also work closely with the Environmental Water Trust and others to maintain natural water flows through the property by protecting upstream water in the Cuttaburra Creek and Warrego River systems.
Brolga. Photo by George Pergaminelis
A love for life on Naree
Naree is a haven for the brolga - a large graceful bird famous for its elaborate courting dances.
"They pick up sticks and leap high in the air, flapping their wings," says Professor Richard Kingsford, an ornithologist (bird specialist) from the University of NSW, who has been surveying water bird populations on Naree since 1986.
Though brolga populations are listed as vulnerable across much of Australia, their numbers are stronger in the north and the floodplains of the Paroo and Warrego rivers, including at Naree.
"Naree still floods and dries naturally, which is important for brolgas," explains Richard. "Elsewhere in the world, rivers have been dammed and the water taken away so the wetlands have lost their vitality."
Bush Heritage now plays a significant role in conserving the habitat of the brolga.
The purchase of Naree
Bush Heritage's purchase of Naree was instigated by the Environmental Water Trust and its scientific adviser, Prof Richard Kingsford, Director of the University of new South Wales Australian Wetlands and Rivers Centre. Through their focus on Cuttaburra Creek and Yantabulla Swamp they had
documented the values of Naree and the importance of an acquisition. Professor Kingsford who worked closely with the owners, and in his monumental National Waterbird Assessment listed Cuttaburra Channels as
one of the top 20 waterbird wetlands in Australia.
The Budjiti people have lived on this land and fished from its waters for many generations. Bush Heritage will work closely with the area's traditional landowners to develop and implement conservation plans that will protect this very special place long into the future.
Page Last Updated: Wednesday 6 March 2013