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Kojonup Reserve

Wandoo wonderland
  Kojonup Reserve after rain.
  Kojonup Reserve after rain. Photo: Anthony O'Halloran.

Kojonup Reserve stands out from the nearby cleared wheat belt country as a chaotic, magical bushland filled with chattering bird life.

The largest protected area of wandoo woodlands in the region, it shows us what this country was like before the destructive policies of the 1960s, when a million acres of WA bushland a year was burned, buried and bulldozed for broad-acre farming.

The reserve's canopy buzzes with insects, perfect prey for insectivorous birds such as the golden whistler, and many local bird species, such as the declining rufous treecreeper, nest in hollows in mature wandoo trees.

On the ground, fallen logs provide habitat for foraging birds such as white-browed babblers, and even the scattered bark and leaf litter are important, protecting against soil erosion and providing food and shelter for invertebrates, reptiles and small mammals.

The woodlands' nectar-rich flowers feed honeyeaters almost year round, and the trunks of the sheoak trees make perfect springboards for lightning-fast red-tailed phascogales, which leap from tree to tree.

All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What this reserve protects

Wandoo tree with hollows.Wandoo tree with hollows. Photo: Paul Hatton.

Feather-flower.Feather-flower (Verticordia). Photo: Simon Nevill.

One of the few remaining intact wandoo woodlands left in southwest Western Australia, Kojonup Reserve is home to more than 80 species of native birds.

The reserve also protects these significant species and communities:

Animals

  • Rufous treecreeper
  • Carnaby's cockatoo
  • Red-tailed phascogale
  • Threatened land snail

Plants

  • Shy feather-flower
  • Trigger plant
  • Redcoat
  • Fringed lily

Vegetation communities

  • Wandoo woodland
  • Sheoak woodland
  • Heath
  • Brown mallet


What we’re doing on the property

 

As a direct consequence of the massive clearance of native vegetation from this part of the world, large tracts of land are now threatened by salinity, and Kojonup Reserve is no exception.

The southwest corner of the property has been particularly hard hit, with areas of the native bushland dead or salt-affected. However, tree-planting in neighbouring properties seems to be yielding some results, with the saline groundwater table steady or dropping in recent years.

We also monitor and bait for rabbits and foxes as appropriate – critical management for the translocated red-tailed phascogales and a key reason Kojonup Reserve was chosen as a release site.

Phascogales on a mission

The robust greenhood orchid.    
Red-tailed phascogale. Photo: Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.    
     
Amy Mutton is poised to introduce a phascogale to its new home in the sheoak forest of Kojonup Reserve.    
Amy Mutton is poised to introduce a phascogale to its new home in the sheoak forest of Kojonup Reserve. Photo: WA Department of Environment and Conservation.    

When dusk settles at Kojonup, if you know where to look, this reserve can put on a show you'll never forget.

Tiny marsupials called red-tailed phascogales, no bigger than the size of a couple of matchboxes, fly through the air, leaping two metres at a time and gripping the sides of trees, almost as if their feet were wrapped in Velcro.

Once common in this area, red-tailed phascogales have declined dramatically in numbers, so that they now have the dubious distinction of being nationally endangered.

Brought to Kojonup Reserve in May 2010 from various sites in the WA wheat belt, 20 individuals – 12 females and eight males – were released just ahead of their mating season. Their mission: to contribute to increasing the number of self-sustaining populations in the region.

The males usually die after a single frenzied mating season, during which they pursue females at the expense of all other activities. But the females can live up to three years and can reproduce two or three times during that period.

Together with the WA Department of Environment and Conservation, we are monitoring the breeding success of the Kojonup population. If successful, this translocation program will re-establish a self-sustaining population, and may help save this species from extinction.


Cultural values

Kojonup is an Aboriginal name said to mean ‘place of the stone axe' (kodja) and the stone used to make it (kodj).

The O'Halloran family owned Kojonup Reserve between 1926 and 1996, and were so intent on protecting its woodlands that when it came time for them to sell they spent 10 years finding the appropriate buyer, Bush Heritage.

Page Last Updated: Thursday 28 April 2011

Map of Kojonup Reserve
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Quick facts

Established  1996
Area 389 ha
Location 270 km SE of Perth, WA 

News

A trailblazing, treehopping marsupial

Phascogales on the move

Visiting

Where we can, we offer opportunities for you to visit the places you've helped protect. We offer visits when conservation and safety considerations permit.

Kojonup is open to day visitors. See the visiting Kojonup Reserve or details.

For information about visiting other Bush Heritage properties see the visiting our reserves page.  

Thanks

Thank you to all our supporters, whose donations fund the day-to-day costs of managing Kojonup Reserve.