Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve

Rebuilding from the ground up

When we bought this property in 2006, two-thirds of it was cleared land – not much of a conservation reserve, some might say. But what they'd be missing is the vital role Yarrabee will play in a much bigger picture.

Candle banksias at Yarrabee, with the Stirling Ranges behind.Candle banksias at Yarrabee, with the Stirling Ranges behind. Photo: Marie Lochman/Lochman Transparencies.

A team effort with Greening Australia, replanted native bushland at Yarrabee is playing an important part in Gondwana Link, an ambitious project to restore a 1000 km swathe of habitat from Western Australia's southwest to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.

The reserve is considered a key property in reconnecting remaining bushland between the Stirling Range and the Fitzgerald River national parks.

The new bushland plantings are now starting to come into their own, and are providing habitat for species such as Carnaby's cockatoo, black-gloved wallabies and honey possums.

Yarrabee also protects a range of plants belonging to the Proteaceae family, an ancient lineage of spectacular flowering shrubs that include banksias, grevilleas and hakeas.

The prolific flowering of Proteaceae-rich heaths draws a host of bird and other species throughout the year, particularly during summer and autumn, when other food sources are scarce.

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

What this reserve protects

Yarrabee protects Proteaceae-rich heath on deep white sand – one of the few intact patches remaining in the area.

The reserve also protects these significant species and communities:

Honey possum.Honey possum. Photo: Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.
Marri.Marri. Photo: Chinch Gryniewicz.

Animals

  • Honey possum
  • Black-gloved wallaby
  • Black-backed snake
  • Western whipbird
  • Carnaby's cockatoo

Plants

  • Flat-topped yate
  • Boronia
  • Trigger plants
  • Christmas tree

  • Baxter's banksia

Vegetation communities

  • Proteaceous rich heath
  • Banksia woodland
  • Jarrah/marri woodland

What we’re doing on the property

Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve, with the Stirling Ranges behind.Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve, with the Stirling Ranges behind. Photo: Amanda Keesing.

The plant-destroying disease dieback (Phytophthora cinnamomi) has infected parts of Yarrabee and must be prevented from further contaminating the reserve.

This deadly disease is particularly harmful to plants in the Proteaceae family (which includes banksias, grevilleas and hakeas), and has been likened to a biological bulldozer, killing dominant tree and understorey plant species.

We are also on guard against pest animals such as rabbits and locusts, which pose a significant threat to new bushland plantings.

Bush Rangers to the rescue

Bush Heritage's Simon Smale and Angela Sanders making a new reptile habitat at Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve. Simon Smale and Angela Sanders making a new reptile habitat at Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve. Photo: Amanda Keesing.

How do you get a bunch of school kids interested in environmental restoration? Give them a project that lets them build habitat for snakes, frogs, geckos and goannas.

At least that was the plan Bush Heritage ecologist Angela Sanders came up with when confronted with piles of old farming junk at Yarrabee. And guess what? It worked.

Jerramungup students with Bush Heritage ecologist Angela Sanders.
Jerramungup students with Bush Heritage ecologist Angela Sanders. Photo: Anne Sparrow.

Indoctrinating just over a dozen teenagers from Jerramungup District High School into the ways of the local reptile fauna proved all too easy.

After studying what makes good shelter for snakes and lizards, and learning how to treat these animals with caution and respect, the students ventured into Yarrabee with the mission of turning old sheets of disused iron and piles of timber into new reptile habitat.

And what the kids turned up excited even Angela, who was thrilled when they discovered swimming skinks, marbled geckos, a Rosenberg's Goanna, and five black-backed snakes, which are quite rare and a record find for the property.

This work was carried out as part of the Bush Rangers Western Australia program.

Page Last Updated: Wednesday 21 May 2014

Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve
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Quick facts

Established: 2006
Area: 923 ha
Location: 481km SE of Perth

Fitz-Stirling scorecard

Scorecard

The Fitz-Stirling scorecard is a summary of the conditions of four reserve in the Fitzgerald and Stirling Ranges region, including Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve. It is based on ecological reviews conducted every 5 years.

News

Residence for reptiles

Postcards from the Field: Which Wallaby?

Visiting

Unfortunately, it's not possible to visit Yarrabee Wesfarmers. See visiting our reserves for other access opportunities.  

Thank you

Thanks to all our supporters whose donations fund the management of Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve.

Generous support for the acquisition of this property was provided by Wesfarmers.