When Bush Heritage bought Eurardy Reserve in 2005, it had an immediate impact on Western Australian conservation.
Wildflowers amongst the woodlands protected on Eurardy Reserve. Photo by Katrina Blake.
Overnight, the amount of jam and york gum woodlands protected in the Geraldton Sandplain bioregion jumped from less than 1% to 22%.
The decision to buy Eurardy had many other benefits, not the least of which was cementing the protection of part of the Southwest Botanical Province.
One of only 34 biodiversity hotspots recognised globally, the province makes up just 0.23% of the Earth's land surface and yet supports 12.6% of its rare and threatened flora.
In fact, the diversity of plant species found in this region outranks that of Australia's tropical rainforests, and its annual wildflower displays attract people from all over the world.
Eurardy Reserve itself, tucked into the northern edge of this biodiversity hotspot, protects over 500 plant species, including at least five nationally endangered or vulnerable plant species, and forms a critical habitat link between Kalbarri National Park and Toolonga Nature Reserve to the north.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
What we are helping protect
Short-petalled beyeria. Photo: Marie Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.
Hairy-footed dunnart. Photo: Leanne Hales.
Kalbarri spider orchid. Photo: Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.
Land clearing and the insidious spread of salinity have devastated much of this region, making the remaining bushland on Eurardy Reserve exceptionally important for species such as the nationally vulnerable malleefowl. The reserve is also home to the endangered small-petalled beyeria, a plant presumed extinct until rediscovered in 2005.
These significant species and communities are also found on the reserve.
- Red-tailed black cockatoo
- Spinifex hopping-mouse
- Hairy-footed dunnart
- Major Mitchell cockatoo
- Ash-grey mouse
- Northern dwarf spider-orchid
- Kalbarri spider-orchid
- Beard's mallee
- Wreath flower
- York gum woodland
- Shrublands of acacia, casuarina, Eucalyptus eudesmoides (mallalie), Ashby's banksia and other species
- Sceptre banksia and sandplain cypress woodland
- Acacia rostellifera (summer-scented wattle) thicket
What we’re doing on the property
Former reserve manager Matt Warnock works to rehabilitate the Bungabandi Creek area. Photo by Elizabeth Lescheid.
Eurardy has benefited enormously from the generous support of volunteers.
Volunteers joined forces with former Reserve Managers Matt Warnock and Elizabeth Lescheid to survey malleefowl activity, making a very useful contribution to what we know about this nationally vulnerable species on Eurardy.
It was a red letter day when an active malleefowl mound was found recently. But even better news was to follow, when Elizabeth found some broken eggshell and downy feathers on the active mound's edge, indicating a successful hatching.
And the Bungabandi Creek Restoration project has also benefited from the idea that many hands make light work. With volunteer help, the Reserve Managers have laid brush in key sections of the disturbed creekbed.
This, together with closing a track through the creek, will slow water erosion and re-establish a more natural flow pattern, improving the health of this important ecosystem.
Matt and Elizabeth have also been having great success with rabbit control. Rabbit numbers are now so low that there's been some very encouraging natural regeneration. In addition to rabbits, foxes and feral goats are also being humanely controlled at Eurardy.
Feather-flower (verticordia). Photo: Elizabeth Lescheid.
Grevillea. Photo by Matt Appleby.
When the big reds and yellows of Eurardy Reserve come out to play, they not only draw wildflower fans from across the world, but also an abundance of local birds and insects.
The big reds are feather-flowers, claw-flowers and grevilleas, and when in bloom they cast flushes of palest coral, rosy red and vivid scarlet across the landscape.
The big yellows are acacias and ground-hugging everlastings, which stand in gorgeous contrast to the blue sky above.
And that's just the beginning – with flowers in pinks, purples, blues and whites all adding to the heady mix. No wonder then that Eurardy is one of the most outstanding wildflower destinations along Western Australia's Batavia Coast.
In 2003 the Wildflower Society of Western Australia began surveying this extraordinarily rich flora, and identified 481 native plant species, many of which have been pressed and mounted in a field herbarium at the reserve.
The herbarium is constantly being updated as new species are found, and has become an invaluable resource for Bush Heritage land managers and ecologists.
Eurardy Reserve and the area surrounding it is the traditional country of the Nanda people.
This area is of strong cultural significance, particularly Bungabandi Creek, where camping areas and artefacts have been identified.