New species at Naree

Sunday 21 September, 2014
Using a quadrat to count species and assess groundcover. Photo by Sue Akers.Using a quadrat to count species and assess groundcover. Photo by Sue Akers..

A chance meeting has resulted in some exciting outcomes for Naree Station.

Dr John Hunter and his wife Vanessa called in to say hello when they were passing through western New South Wales on a large government vegetation mapping project earlier this year. During the visit they promptly volunteered to return and help with all things botanical.

In June they spent a weekend with reserve managers David and Sue Akers identifying plant species at 30 established monitoring sites on the property and taking 300 photographs of ground cover conditions.

It was perfect timing, as the late summer and early winter rains had triggered the growth of a variety of species not seen previously by Bush Heritage staff and others on the property through the dry times since it was bought in late 2012.

Dr John Hunter and his wife Vanessa with Sue Akers. Photo by David Akers.Dr John Hunter and his wife Vanessa with Sue Akers. Photo by David Akers.

One weekend’s work by our highly skilled visitors resulted in more than 100 new plants being added to the Naree species list – bringing the new total to around 285 species so far. And, when the data was entered into Bush Heritage’s master database in Melbourne by Norma Gates (another dedicated volunteer) 17 species were thought to be new to the national database too!

One weekend’s work by our highly skilled visitors resulted in more than 100 new plants being added to the Naree species list.

John has also documented the indigenous knowledge and uses for the plants at Naree that he is aware of from current literature – another very valuable piece of information as we’re beginning to work with the Budjiti Traditional Owners to understand more about the property.

John and Vanessa have offered to return and produce a high resolution vegetation map for Naree in the coming months, which will be extremely valuable for ongoing monitoring and management of the property, given the variety and complexity of habitats on this beautiful wetland and woodland reserve.

A heartfelt thank you from Bush Heritage Australia to John and Vanessa, and all our volunteers around the country – we couldn’t do it without you!

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