Chereninup Creek

Last updated: Friday 27 May, 2016
A map showing the location of Chereninup Creek Reserve.

Established: 2002
Area: 897 ha
Location: 430km SE of Perth

Detailed map >

Visiting Chereninup >

When we first explored the possibility of adding Chereninup to our list of conservation reserves, we couldn't have asked for better prospects. It's located in a global biodiversity hotspot that's recognised as one of the most biologically valuable regions in the world.

Stunning Malaleuca diosmifolia flowers. Photo Barbara Madden.
Stunning Malaleuca diosmifolia flowers. Photo Barbara Madden.
It was also seen as critical to the success of Gondwana Link, the largest environmental restoration project ever tackled in Australia.

The decision to buy Chereninup is now paying off, and the reserve has cemented its position as part of Gondwana Link, which is well on its way to restoring a 1,000 km swathe of bushland from Western Australia's southwest to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.

Proteaceous Sand Heath in sunset light. Photo Chinch Gryniewicz.
Proteaceous Sand Heath in sunset light. Photo Chinch Gryniewicz.
Chereninup Creek is part of a vital habitat link between the Fitzgerald River and Stirling Ranges National Parks.

One way to measure our on-ground successes is through plant and animal surveys, and results from Chereninup are coming in in spades. We now know that Honey Possums, found only in the heathlands of southwest WA, are using recently restored habitat on the reserve, and that both Black-Gloved and Tammar Wallabies also call Chereninup home. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What we’re doing

Nursing 80 hectares of previously cleared bushland back to life has been a focus of our work here.

Yellow Daisies at Chereninup. Photo Barbara Madden.
Yellow Daisies at Chereninup. Photo Barbara Madden.
Once an environmentally barren paddock, those 80 hectares are now populated by carefully chosen eucalypts, melaleucas, wattles and casuarinas as part of our first broadscale restoration planting.

Many years on from the planting, the trees and shrubs are not only increasing native animal populations but have also contributed to the fight against global warming, storing thousands of tonnes of CO2 equivalent – enough to offset the average emissions of hundreds of households.

Meet the Honey Possum

If there were an award for cutest animal in the world, the Honey Possum would surely win.

A sleepy Honey Possum. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
A sleepy Honey Possum. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
These tiny creatures weigh about the same as two teaspoons of sugar, while their babies are no bigger than a grain of rice.

Despite their diminutive size, Honey Possums have the largest sperm of all mammals but, being rather shy creatures, it's unlikely they'd gloat.

They prefer cover of darkness and literally disappear in daylight hours – even our ecologists are mystified about where they go.

Distinguished by their brush-tipped tongue and pointy snouts, they're endemic to southwest Western Australia's heathlands, and residents of Chereninup Creek Reserve.

A freshwater pool in a bed of granite. Photo Chinch Gryniewicz.
A freshwater pool in a bed of granite. Photo Chinch Gryniewicz.
They eat only nectar and pollen, and rely on various proteaceous species, such as banksias, for food throughout the year.

They're important contributors to the biodiversity of their habitat, collecting pollen on their fur and pollinating other plants as they feed.

Cultural values

The south coast of Western Australia has a long history of human occupation. The Noongar people have lived here for at least 40,000 years, and the patterns of tribal occupation suggest the landforms formed boundaries for different groups. This reserve may have been part of the boundary system for two or more tribes.

 

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