Goonderoo

Last updated: Friday 27 May, 2016

A map showing the location of Goonderoo Reserve in Qld.Established: 1998
Area: 593 hectares
Location: Central Qld 275km west of Rockhampton
Detailed map >

At the heart of Queensland’s Brigalow Belt bioregion lies a Bush Heritage property that’s part of a disappearing world.

Woodlands at Goonderoo. Photo Mel Sheppard.
Woodlands at Goonderoo. Photo Mel Sheppard.
Goonderoo Reserve was bought because it secured a group of rapidly vanishing ecosystems – among them the brigalow shrublands.

Taking their name from the long-lived, silvery wattle known as Brigalow, the once extensive Brigalow Belt shrublands have fallen prey to large-scale land clearance. Now, just 6% of the brigalow shrublands remain, with only 2% protected in conservation reserves.

Sugar Gliders. Photo Steve Parish.
Sugar Gliders. Photo Steve Parish.
These remaining patches, including those at Goonderoo, provide refuge for many woodland species – Bandicoots, Bettongs, Sugar Gliders and Koalas are just some of the species found on the reserve.

Goonderoo also hosts habitat for the nationally endangered Bridled Nailtail Wallaby, a population of which lives on a neighbouring property.

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

What we’re doing on the property

One of our biggest tasks at Goonderoo is to help the shrubby woodlands regenerate – a task that’s made challenging by an introduced pasture crop, buffel grass.

Buffel grass blooming after rains. Photo Mark and Nella Lithgow.
Buffel grass blooming after rains. Photo Mark and Nella Lithgow.
Native to Africa and India, buffel grass was brought into Australia as a drought and fire-tolerant livestock feed.

Since then it's replaced native plants over large areas, as well as dramatically increasing damage from fires – buffel grass burns so hot that it kills most native Australian plants, even the fire-adapted ones.

Bush Heritage is using strategic controlled grazing to keep the buffel grass at bay, which reduces the risk of intense fire and gives the native plants a chance to get established.

Managing fire and weeds in particular helps us maintain habitat for mammals on the reserve, including Rufous Bettongs, Koalas, Bandicoots and Sugar Gliders.

History and cultural values

There are Aboriginal artefacts on the reserve, showing that Indigenous inhabitants occupied the Goonderoo area.

Initially established by European settlers for sheep and timber production, the area soon became cattle-grazing country. The Spooner family settled on what is now Goonderoo during the 1940s, and the family maintains a strong interest in the reserve.

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