Driving conservation in Western Australia

Sunday 21 December, 2008

Paul Evans, Bush Heritage’s Corporate Engagement Officer, is delighted to announce the formation of a key partnership with the Royal Automobile Club of Western Australia (RAC).

Rock forms on Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Janice Carpenter.

Rock forms on Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Janice Carpenter.

Each year for the next three years the RAC will make a significant donation to Bush Heritage, contributing to the conservation of WA’s unique and abundant diversity of life.

The RAC was originally formed by a small group of enthusiastic car owners in 1905 but has come a long way since then. With more than 650 000 members they are now a vital part of Western Australian life, and are committed to the long-term sustainability of the environment, hence the decision to support Bush Heritage’s vital conservation work in WA.

A key focus for the sponsorship will be the Charles Darwin Reserve in Western Australia. This spectacular 68 600 hectare property is situated on the northern edge of the wheatbelt area and boasts a unique mix of ancient woodlands and an abundance of wildlife, together with wildflower-studded sand plains and natural salt lakes.

Chestnut quail-thrush nest with eggs at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Marie and Jiri Lochman / Lochman Transparencies.

Chestnut quail-thrush nest with eggs at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Marie and Jiri Lochman / Lochman Transparencies.

The reserve protects precious remnant vegetation communities in a region that once supported impressive expanses of eucalyptus woodlands, shrubland and heath vegetation that covered thousands of square kilometres.

Of these, some of the most significant are the York gum and mixed salmon gum-gimlet woodlands, which provide important refuge for the area’s dynamic bird life. With only 6% of these vegetation types remaining, and less than 3% in conservation reserves, their continued protection is an important aspect of the partnership.

The partnership, which forms an integral part of the RAC sponsorship strategy towards sustainable environments, was launched in September at the reserve. The visit gave RAC representatives the opportunity to explore the area and to see firsthand the important land management work that Bush Heritage undertakes to protect and enhance the unique plant and animal life on the property.

Thorny devil running across the semi-arid desert at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Kurt Tschirner.

Thorny devil running across the semi-arid desert at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Kurt Tschirner.

Thanks to the assistance of the RAC, its staff and members, Bush Heritage will be able to implement and complete a range of conservation initiatives on Charles Darwin Reserve that will help protect the property’s significant vegetation habitats and the animals that live there.

The RAC’s Sponsorship Manager Cath Kelsall said the partnership with Bush Heritage demonstrated the RAC’s commitment to environmental issues and the pursuit of a sustainable future.

‘It was an opportunity for the RAC to make a practical contribution to this important work to make sure we protect some of Western Australia’s unique beauty.’

Bush Heritage welcomes the association with the RAC and believes that linking with the RAC on this project is a marvellous result for both organisations.

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