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Protecting Country and culture at Buckrabanyule

Glen Norris (Healthy Landscape Manager)
Published 28 Oct 2021 by Glen Norris (Healthy Landscape Manager)

As the home of Mindi, a great serpent that's the enforcer of Dja Dja Wurrung cultural law, Buckrabanyule, our newest land acquisition, is connected to an important Dja Dja Wurrung creation story.

We were able to purchase the 452-hectare property earlier this year with private philanthropic support and in doing so, protect it from subdivision and development, address the serious regional biosecurity issues present with the current Wheel cactus infestation, and create the space for Dja Dja Wurrung people (Djaara) to return to and heal Djandak (Country).

Now, Dja Dja Wurrung People (Djaara) can access the site for the first time in over 170 years, an essential step in walking together to Dhelkunya Dja (Heal Country) and is the result of many years of listening and learning side-by-side.

We're proud to be able to work together with DJAARA to care for and heal this incredibly special and culturally significant place.

Work crews from Djandak, the Dja Dja Wurrung-owned commercial enterprise of DJAARA, are already making significant first steps in tackling the widespread invasion of invasive Wheel Cactus (Opuntia robusta) impacting much of the property.

Wheel Cactus is classed as a Weed of National Significance, which has cultural, conservation and agricultural ramifications for the entire region if left unchecked. Its seeds are spread by birds and other animals.

Effectively controlling the cactus is resource and time intensive. The current best practice involves injecting each cactus wheel or basal stem with herbicide, so it's unable to spread further, but Djandak rangers have been trialing other methods including mulching, with great success.

A targeted Wheel Cactus Control plan is being developed and returning cultural practices such as Djandak Wi (fire on Country) will also help with control and regeneration of emergent cactus plants.

Bush Heritage looks forward to working collaboratively with the broader conservation and agricultural communities along with government agencies. Lessons learnt from managing the Wheel Cactus will be shared to help with control strategies on a landscape scale.

Stay tuned for more news from Buckrabanyule as we continue to work together with DJAARA to Dhelkunya Dja.

Surveying Buckrabanyule. Surveying Buckrabanyule.
Dja Dja Wurrung project manager Harley Douglas. Bush Heritage Healthy Landscapes Manager Glen Norris and Dja Dja Wurrung Program Manager Nathan Wong. Photo Stu Heppell.
Andrew (Djandak enterprises) undertakes Wheel Cactus control. Andrew (Djandak enterprises) undertakes Wheel Cactus control.
Levi (Djandak Ranger) undertakes Wheel Cactus management. Levi (Djandak Ranger) undertakes Wheel Cactus management.

Weed management stories

Buckrabanyule landscape. Photo Stu Heppell.

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