Around your reserves in 90 days

Friday 21 June, 2013

Our supporters makes a difference in so many ways. We take a look at what’s been happening at Bush Heritage reserves around Australia – all made possible thanks to our supporters.

Dja Dja Wurrung at Nardoo Hills Reserve

Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners at Nardoo Hills ReserveDja Dja Wurrung traditional owners at Nardoo Hills Reserve Photo by Sarah Eccles

If you look hard enough on your next bushwalk, you might just find you're following the footsteps of Aboriginal people who walked before you, thousands of years ago.

That was the case when Bush Heritage staff joined Dja Dja Wurrung traditional owners at Nardoo Hills Reserve in Central Victoria. A Dja Dja Wurrung cultural heritage study completed in 2013, revealed important cultural values at Nardoo, including artefacts like cutting instruments and clay cooking balls. Scar trees, the bark of which was used for ceremonial purposes and for carrying food, were also found.

"When I walk around this place, I feel connected to my country and people," says traditional owner Boadan Kerr, a Ranger with Dja Dja Wurrung Enterprises. Bush Heritage builds partnerships with Indigenous groups like Dja Dja Wurrung, who are connected with the land we work on, across the country.

Easter suprise at Bon Bon

Fat-tailed dunnartFat-tailed dunnart. Photo: Tim Doherty

Native animal enthusiasts from the South Australian‑based Field Naturalists Society spent their Easter break at Bon Bon Station Reserve, surrounded by the shimmering salt lakes and expanses of pearl bluebush found on the central South Australian reserve.

Bush Heritage Australia relies on skilled groups like these to help us with the essential task of monitoring species on reserves and this was the second such visit from the Society in two years.

Striped-faced and fat-tailed dunnarts were found in greater numbers than last Easter's survey, and three previously unrecorded bats were discovered but are yet to be confirmed. The group also recorded some creatures that had not previously been seen on the reserve, like the sandy inland mouse and the beaded gecko.

Not so quiet at Naree

Craig Allen checks an Eliot TrapCraig Allen checks an Elliot trap. The traps are baited with balls of oats and peanut butter to attract small mammals. Photo: Katrina Blake

Thousands of supporters put their hands up recently to support a team of scientists heading out to survey your newest reserve, Naree Station.

Thanks to our generous supporters, those scientists were able to gather essential ecological information about Naree. This information will put us in good stead to go forward with our decision‑making on how to best care for this important place.

The bioblitz achieved its objectives: species inventories of mammals, reptiles, birds and plants; a vastly improved vegetation map of the reserve; installation of 96 pitfall traps that will be reused in future surveys and monitoring; and mapping of infrastructure like tracks and fences that will become crucial to our land management. 170 bird species are now known to be found at Naree, as well as the stripe‑faced dunnart (vulnerable in NSW), the narrow‑nosed planigale and seven bat species including the little pied bat (vulnerable in NSW).

All hands on deck

Volunteers planting at Scottsdale ReserveVolunteers planted thousands of trees. Photo: Peter Saunders

One hundred and fifty volunteers gathered in early April at Scottsdale Reserve in the New South Wales' Southern Tablelands, to start to restore nationally endangered box gum grassy woodlands as part of a two-year, 300-hectare project with our partner Greening Australia.

Volunteers travelled the 75km from Canberra to plant 2000 seedlings that had been especially cultivated for the day. Reserve Manager Peter Saunders and his dedicated volunteer team had spent weeks preparing for the project. "We spent two weeks digging 4000 holes and slashing excess African lovegrass, an invasive weed found on the reserve and across south-eastern Australia - and we'll be planting for many months to come!"

More than 95% of box gum grassy woodlands have been cleared in south‑eastern Australia, allowing African lovegrass and other invasive weeds to flourish and diminish available habitat for endangered and vulnerable native bird species like the speckled warbler, scarlet robin and diamond firetail.

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