When Bush Heritage secured the Monjebup Creek and Monjebup North Reserves, we not only acquired important conservation areas, but also some important pieces of a complicated jigsaw puzzle.
Heathland at Monjebup. Photo by Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies
Combined with the original Monjebup property, which we purchased in April 2007, these reserves now protect a significant patch of bushland that's critical to restoring the heavily cleared landscape between WA's Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River national parks.
Our conservation work here is an important counterbalance to the ecological damage caused by decades of land clearing in the area.
Monjebup is critical for establishing connectivity between the Fitzgerald River National Park and the Stirling Range National Park (shown). Photo by Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies
It will also help secure the success of the Gondwana Link project, a plan to restore a 1000 km swathe of bushland from Western Australia's southwest to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.
Excitingly, we have completed ecological restoration of just over 400 hectares of cleared land in the north of the reserve. This will re-establish connectivity between remnant bush to the south and that in the Corackerup Nature Reserve immediately to the north.
The restored bush will add to the importance of the Monjebup Reserves as havens for the vulnerable malleefowl and western whipbird, Carnaby's cockatoo and the Tammar wallaby.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
What these reserves protect
Corackerup moort. Photo: Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.
Bushy yate. Photo: Jiri Lochman/ Lochman Transparencies.
Monjebup Reserves protect the recently discovered Corackerup moort, a small mallee eucalypt that in early winter shows off stunning pendulous red flowers. The reserves also protect these significant species and communities:
- Carpet python
- Crested bellbird
- Tammar wallaby
- Black-gloved wallaby
- Western pygmy possum
- Feather -flowers
- Nodding banksia
- Corackerup moort
- Kangaroo paw
- Sandplain orchid
- Mallet and moort woodland
- Mallee heath
- Flat-topped yate
- Proteaceous rich heath
The future is looking brighter for tammar wallabies at Monjebup. Photo by Jiri Lochman/Lochman Transparencies
What we’re doing on the properties
In 2009, one of 20 infra-red cameras dotted across the area caught a species once thought nearly extinct in the region, a tammar wallaby.
This was a heartening find, and we're working to significantly enhance the prospects for the recovery of tammar wallabies in the area.
To this end, with our supporters' help we're controlling feral animals and have restored just over 400 hectares of cleared land on Monjebup North.
Something lost, something found
Noongar man Eugene Eades led a group of Noongar youth to perform a cultural heritage assessment on Monjebup. Photo by Anne Sparrow
When a bunch of city Noongar kids were taken out of Perth to help map Monjebup's Aboriginal heritage, they were returning to a land their ancestors have walked for thousands of years.
Working with Noongar man Eugene Eades and local tribal elders, these kids spent five days searching Monjebup for Aboriginal artefacts and other clues about how this land was used by their ancestors.
Archaeologist David Guilfoyle, who also took part in the cultural mapping project, says getting the teenagers involved helped give them a sense of identity by teaching them how to care for their country.
During their time at Monjebup they found artefacts up to 3,000 years old.
‘They were the first people to hold some of these artefacts in thousands of years,' says David.
When talking about the work that needs to be carried out at Monjebup, David doesn't just focus on restoring the landscape.
‘Caring for country, you don't just plant trees and walk away,' he says. ‘You have to monitor and be in touch with ancestral connections to really care for it.'
Early survey work at Monjebup indicates that Aboriginal people used the area for a wide variety of activities, including gathering raw materials, food processing, hunting, gathering, camping, stone tool manufacture and seasonal movement.