The speckled duck is an endangered species in New South Wales. Photo: Steve Parish.
Firstly I want to pay tribute to Mauritz "Mo" Pieterse who perished in tragic circumstances last month on Bush Heritage's Ethabuka Reserve where he worked as a Field Officer.
If you had met Mo you would have quickly grasped his strong commitment to conservation and his passion for the bush. He was a dearly loved member of the Bush Heritage team and is sorely missed.
The last month has been a difficult time for Mo's family and friends and I have conveyed Bush Heritage's deepest sympathy to his family. We are offering them, and our staff, all the support we can.
Down the track, we will work out how best to honour Mo's contribution. In the meantime we will pass on the many condolences we have received to Mo's family.
The Naree purchase
While November was a tragic month for all at Bush Heritage, it also marked our launch of a campaign to protect one of Australia's most important and unprotected wetlands.
Significantly, this campaign was launched with farmers, Debbie and Paul Kaluder, a remarkable couple who share a passion for caring for the land and waterways as part of a sustainable farming enterprise.
A pelican glides gracefully through still waters. Photo: Steve Parish
What is most exciting about Naree Station is that you can become a part of its story...
Debbie and Paul started this story six years ago when they bought Naree Station and introduced the low-impact grazing techniques that are responsible for the remarkable health of this reserve.
Bush Heritage has now become part of Naree's story, and now you, as one of the people that have helped us come so far, can also play a part.
Many others like you have already joined us in our goal to protect Naree Station - so far we have raised over a million dollars of the $3.1 million we need. If you are one of those people, I'd like to thank you.
But if you haven't done so already, I encourage you to join us. Your support will help us repay the loan we've taken out to buy Naree. It will also help us to implement our science-based conservation methods, including a thorough ecological survey, which will tell us even more about Naree's incredible birdlife and wildlife, and how to look after it.
Secure Naree’s future
While Bush Heritage has acted quickly and decisively to buy Naree Station and protect it from immediate threat, your help is needed to ensure its ongoing protection and management. Please help secure Naree’s future now.
I just know that if you visited Naree Station you would want it protected forever too. If you visited in the evening, you'd see the spectacular sight of the sun dipping over the horizon and the birds returning from the Yantabulla Swamp to roost in the trees. You'd see white-faced herons and cormorants getting settled for the night.
And in years to come, you'll be able to share the journey of Naree, as we uncover more of its magic.
Gerard O'Neill, CEO