The Brogo River runs through riverine forest in Brogo Reserve. Photo: Wayne Lawler/Ecopix.
Sitting in the valley of the Brogo River, this reserve is one of the largest areas of intact native bushland left in the region, and conserves several forest ecosystems that are poorly protected elsewhere in the state.
These forest ecosystems have proved irresistible for many native birds, and since buying the property in 1995 we've recorded at least 70 species, including the wonga pigeon, superb lyrebird, black-faced flycatcher, jacky winter, and the small but beautiful scarlet honeyeater.
One of the drawcards for these birds, particularly the ones that eat fruit, is the dry rainforest found at Brogo, often dominated by low, rock-hugging native fig trees and their tempting fruits.
Another drawcard for birds and other wildlife is the riverine forest and scrub down near the Brogo River – a sprawling community of river sheoaks, gossamer wattle, tree violet and basket grass.
A rare forest community in the reserve is the Brogo wet vine forest, which is found only in the Bega and Cobargo valleys.
The bigger birds love Brogo too, including sooty, powerful and boobook owls, no doubt attracted to the larger hollow-bearing trees and abundant prey that can still be found on the property.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
What this reserve protects
Eastern yellow robin. Photo: Wayne Lawler/ Ecopix.
Forest red gum. Photo: Rob Jung.
More than 90% of Australia's dry rainforests have been destroyed. Brogo protects patches of the most southerly extent of what remains in NSW. The reserve protects a variety of eucalypt and rainforest vegetation communities:
- The rugged higher slopes and gully heads of the reserve are forested with Wet Vine Forest dominated by forest red gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) along with coast grey box (Eucalyptus bosistoana) and blue box (Eucalyptus baueriana). Vines and twiners are common. The understorey is open and shrubby and there is a species-rich ground cover of herbs and grasses. Various rainforest species intermingle with the eucalypts.
- Pockets of Dry Rainforest around large rock outcrops are dominated by Port Jackson figs (Ficus rubiginosa) along with kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus), native quince (Alectryon subcinereus) and many other species.
- Two patches of Warm Temperate Rainforest are occur on lower slopes within the reserve. In these areas lillypilly (Acmena smithii) and sassafras (Doryphora sassafras), tree violet bolwarra (Eupomatia laurina), yellow wood (Acronychia oblongifolia) and many fern species are present.
- Animals protected within the Brogo Reserve forests include sooty owl, powerful owl, grey-headed flying-fox the eastern yellow robin and the long-nosed bandicoot.
What we’re doing on the property
Bush Heritage friends and supporters at Brogo Reserve. Photo: Katrina Blake.
Keeping the weed tiger pear cactus at bay is a pretty important job at Brogo. A rapidly spreading relative of the infamous 'prickly pear', the plant is regarded as the most troublesome of all invasive cactus species in NSW.
Great care has to be taken when in its presence to avoid the spreading stems, which readily detach from the main body and stick to shoes, clothing, skin and fur.
The main infestation of this cactus has been removed, and we now focus on removing new plants that pop up or grow from seeds brought in by kangaroos.
We also spend time working with Brogo's neighbours, giving them a helping hand in developing voluntary conservation agreements for their nearby patches of bush.
Flying through the rainforest
Grey-headed flying-foxes use the rainforest on Brogo Reserve. Photo: Stan Breeden/ Lochman Transparencies.
Grey-headed flying-foxes have a deep affinity with many ecosystems along Australia's east coast, including the rainforest and eucalypt forests found at Brogo.
The largest bat species in Australia, these gentle giants are critically important for seed dispersal and pollination for a wide range of native trees, and contribute directly to the regeneration and evolutionary processes of many forest ecosystems.
They can cover extraordinary distances in the search for food, and in one case in Australia two individuals were recorded travelling more than 2000 km over a 9-month period.
At Brogo they often stop over to feed on fruiting figs, and the older eucalypts produce enough nectar and pollen to act as important food sources for visiting grey-headed flying-foxes.
By protecting this property we are contributing in a small but positive way to the survival of this nationally threatened species.