Bushland on the banks of a pool at Beringa Reserve. Photo by Chinch Gryniewicz
The gentle nature of the long, deep pools at Beringa Creek Reserve belie their importance to the surrounding landscape and beyond.
These pools, part of the Peniup and Hegarty creek system, provide exceptional habitat for local native species and are fringed with dense trees and shrubs, an uncommon sight in this part of Western Australia.
Beringa is also an important component of Gondwana Link, an ambitious project to restore a 1000 km swathe of bushland from Western Australia's southwest to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.
As part of that project, Beringa Reserve plays a critical role in protecting mallet and moort woodlands, which are extremely vulnerable to frequent fires.
The small hollows that form in moort trees older than 30 years of age are used by threatened red-tailed phascogales, tiny pygmy possums and owlet nightjars. Moort flowers are a source of nectar and pollen for a wide variety of honeyeaters.
Beringa is also part of a program to sustain populations of the significant tammar and black-gloved wallabies.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
Creek habitat on Beringa. Photo: Chinch Gryniewicz
What we’re doing on the property
Feral animals such as foxes and cats are blamed for the loss of a number of native mammal species from this region and have left others, such as the tammar and black-gloved wallabies, in a precarious position.
By reducing feral animal numbers, we hope to vastly improve the chances of survival for our native mammals.
We're also improving creek habitat, restoring native bushland, and reducing the impact of destructive wildfire outbreaks.
The wallabies of Gondwana Link
The tammar wallaby was once so common in this part of Western Australia that it was a reliable food source for the local Noongar people.
Europeans also ate the wallaby, with reports from early last century of up to 40 animals being shot in one night.
This poem illustrates just how common the tammar wallaby was.
The future is looking brighter for tammar wallabies at Beringa Reserve. Photo by Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies
Tammars young and Tammars old,
Tammars hot and Tammars cold,
Tammars tender, Tammars tough.
Thank the Lord we've got enough!
Today though, habitat loss and feral predators have drastically reduced tammar wallaby numbers, and populations are now confined to pockets of bushland.
The black-gloved wallaby too has suffered population declines, and both species are now being targeted for recovery through the Gondwana Link Wallaby Project.
‘The ultimate aim of the project is to increase the populations of both species by removing foxes and making more habitat available,' says ecologist Dr Sandra Gilfillan.
‘This will help the tammar and black-gloved wallabies to once again be a common element in the ecosystem, and perhaps the subjects of modern-day poetry.'
Thanks to Neville Beeck for providing the tammar wallaby poem.