Arid Recovery

Last updated: Thursday 19 May, 2016

Bush Heritage Australia and Arid Recovery have formed a partnership in South Australia's vast arid-zone Rangelands.

60% of mammal species have been lost in the Roxby Downs region since European settlement

Sturt's Desert Pea brightening the landscape. Photo Julia Harris.
Sturt's Desert Pea brightening the landscape. Photo Julia Harris.
Bush Heritage Australia and Arid Recovery have formed a partnership to share and develop their conservation management resources and knowledge to better protect arid-zone ecosystems and threatened species in South Australia's vast arid-zone rangelands.

The South Australian Rangelands Alliance sees Bush Heritage and Arid Recovery cooperate extensively on conservation research, feral animal and weed control methods, and land conservation approaches for improving biodiversity outcomes in the region.

"Between us we have 40 years of conservation research and land management and we want to combine that experience to strengthen arid zone biodiversity and bring the region's community and industry together to rehabilitate land and improve environmental stewardship," says Gerard O'Neill, Chief Executive, Bush Heritage.

A stripe faced Dunnart on our Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
A stripe faced Dunnart on our Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
Arid Recovery brings to the Alliance 16 years of intensive conservation and research work on their Arid Recovery Reserve, in the Roxby Downs region. It has successfully reintroduced four threatened mammals - the Greater stick nest rat, burrowing bettong, greater bilby and western barred bandicoot - on the 123 sq km fenced reserve.

Bush Heritage already protects nine Rangelands ecosystems on Bon Bon Station Reserve, located between the Yellabinna Wilderness Area and Lake Eyre. The reserve is home to vulnerable and threatened species such as Major Mitchell Cockatoos, Chestnut-breasted Whiteface, Southern Hairy-nosed Wombats, Club Spear-grass and Western Myall woodlands.

In the far southeast of the Rangelands, years of conservation on Boolcoomatta Station Reserve has seen a 300% increase in ground-foraging and shrub-dependent birds, such as the White-winged Fairy-wren and Redthroat.

A Bearded Dragon on our Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
A Bearded Dragon on our Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.
"The majority of conservation funding and research is focused in coastal regions and highly populated areas, which has left a huge knowledge gap on biodiversity in our arid regions - and we are very keen to change that," says Kylie Piper, General Manager, Arid Recovery.

The Alliance also aims to build cooperation and participation from other universities, Indigenous land managers, industry, pastoralists and other conservation organisations.

"In 1997 Arid Recovery was created to bring different industries together to achieve conservation outcomes. The creation of the South Australian Rangelands Alliance with Bush Heritage takes that idea one step further. We want to show that by working together we can achieve even greater outcomes for South Australia's unique and fragile arid ecosystems."

The Alliance began with the appointment of a Rangelands Ecologist in mid-2014 to develop applied research projects through collaboration with the University of Adelaide as well as guide ecological monitoring and sharing of data.

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