Burrin Burrin

Last updated: Friday 27 May, 2016
A map showing the location of Burrin Burrin Reserve in NSW.

Established: 1999
Area: 411 ha
Location: 80km E of Canberra

Detailed map >

Burrin Burrin is mountain country, a place of deep, walled valleys and ferny valley floors.

Eucalyptus forest with a ferny understory at Burrin Burrin. Photo: Wayne Lawler/Ecopix.
Eucalyptus forest with a ferny understory at Burrin Burrin. Photo: Wayne Lawler/Ecopix.
During daylight hours these valleys echo with the calls of Superb Lyrebirds, while at night the forests can be filled with the resonant ‘whoo-hoo' of a Powerful Owl, or ring with the yap of a Sugar Glider in danger.

Then there's the distinctive sound of Greater Gliders, which end their flight from tree to tree with such a slap that echoes reverberate through the forest.

A Sugar Glider resident at Burrin Burrin. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
A Sugar Glider resident at Burrin Burrin. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Just like their airborne predator, the Powerful Owl, these gliders are highly dependent on old growth forest for survival, and spend much of their time foraging for food in the highest parts of the tree canopy.

They also need the deep tree hollow dens only old growth forests can provide, with a single glider using up to 20 different dens within its home range.

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

What we’re doing on the property

Ecologist Sandy Gilmore describes Burrin Burrin as one of those rare properties that are in such good condition, little management is needed.

Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum). Photo Graeme Chapman.
Gang-gang Cockatoo (Callocephalon fimbriatum). Photo Graeme Chapman.
'We found a pine seedling in there once, the odd thistle, and only one rabbit,' he said. 'It's never been cleared or farmed and so the forest is in really good condition, making it robust enough to resist invasion by exotic species.'

That's not to say all we have to do is sit back and enjoy the view. Ongoing surveys are needed to see what small ground-dwelling mammal species occur there.

Our monitoring has so far shown the reserve is an important refuge for a number of threatened bird species, including Gang-gang and Glossy Black Cockatoos.

Lights, camera, action

The Powerful Owl. Photo Peter Saunders.
The Powerful Owl. Photo Peter Saunders.
Fingers pointed and cameras whirred when visitors to Burrin Burrin spied a Powerful Owl feasting on a Greater Glider while a Wedge-tailed Eagle flew overhead. Healthy Landscape Manager Peter Saunders said the group stood wide-eyed as the spectacle unfolded.

'I'd noticed Powerful Owl scats on a previous visit and so was delighted to get such a good view of the owl. It's the largest in Australasia and classified as vulnerable in NSW,' he said.

What's in a name?

In the 1970s environmental activist and thinker Richard Sylvan came across a bushland property destined to be cleared and decided to buy and protect it. He called it Burrin Burrin – a little piece of quiet and beauty among the busyness of farming land that surrounds it.

Species at Burrin Burrin

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