Tarcutta

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

Established: 1999
Area: 432 ha
Location: 130km E of Canberra

Detailed map >

At Tarcutta Hills we've got a quiet revolution going on. Where once the order of the day was to work the land for agriculture, we're now 'tilling' it on behalf of nature.

A Speckled Warbler is among the birds to enjoy Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
A Speckled Warbler is among the birds to enjoy Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
This includes nursing back to health Tarcutta's precious Grassy White Box Woodlands, which were once part of a network covering some 10 million hectares of south-eastern Australia.

Dramatic changes to the landscape have taken a heavy toll on these woodlands, and experts believe they're now one of the most highly fragmented and poorly protected ecosystems in Australia.

A Squirrel Glider at Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
A Squirrel Glider at Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
They've been particularly hard hit in the Tarcutta region, putting many bird species that depend on them at risk of local extinction. But we know that over 100 bird species still feed and forage at Tarcutta, some of them among NSW's most vulnerable. They include Turquoise Parrots, Brown Treecreepers, Superb Parrots, Speckled Warblers, Black-chinned Honeyeaters, Hooded Robins and Diamond Firetails.

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

What we’re doing

Woodlands at Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Woodlands at Tarcutta. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
By protecting and increasing the area of Grassy White Box Woodlands at Tarcutta, we're playing a small but important part in Australia's Swift Parrot Recovery Plan, an initiative to increase the amount of habitat available to this nationally endangered bird.

This work also contributes to bolstering what remains of Australia's Grassy White Box Woodlands, a critically endangered ecological community. In fact, Tarcutta's woodlands are so important they've been listed on the Register of the National Estate.

Birds of a feather flock together

A Flycatcher at Tarcutta. Photo Jeroen van Veen.
A Flycatcher at Tarcutta. Photo Jeroen van Veen.
An important part of the Reserve Ecologist's work is staying on top of the changes taking place within reserves. At Tarcutta Hills that means keeping a close eye on the changing face of local bird populations.

During drier times we see a lot of flowering eucalypts. This attracts nectarivorous species such as the Little Lorikeet, Yellow-tufted Honeyeater and Red Wattle Bird.

Wetter weather means fewer flowering trees but more growth in the tree tops, and more leaf litter on the ground. This in turn leads to an increase in crown-feeders, such as the Striated Thornbill and Olive-backed Oriole, and ground-foragers such as the Speckled Warbler and Buff-rumped Thornbill.

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