Pullen Pullen Reserve, one of Australia’s newest conservation reserves, was obtained in 2016 to help Australia’s rarest parrot – the Night Parrot. Like much of the Australian outback, Pullen Pullen was once used for cattle grazing which relies on a system of internal fences to partition specific areas of land to be grazed or rested when required. Naturally, this subdivision is not a requirement for our conservation purposes. So while boundary fences are needed to keep the cattle out of the reserve to protect the parrot's food resources, the internal fences are unnecessary and a potential risk. As such, the days of the internal fences at Pullen Pullen are numbered.
As always, these fences are no match for the well-trained army of Bush Heritage Australia volunteers whose fence removal strategies have evolved with Darwinian precision – efficiency being the naturally selective force. Our current strategy consists of one person removing the high tensile wire from along the top, the second freeing each of the barb wires from the posts and while giving them a light twisting so that they loosely stick together, and the third person rolling the combined bard wires together along the ground, into an ever-thickening circle. With the system down pat and machine-like our final (and most important) step is to drift off into our own specific worlds of imagination – while, in the real world, kilometre after kilometre of fence is being removed .
Environmental restoration projects, from sweat drenching primary weeding, to large scale native plantings often imbue the participant with a sense of satisfaction. Removing the internal fences at Pullen Pullen, especially across the spinifex country, gives this same sense of contentment. There is something truly worthwhile about seeing a landscape that was once bound in wire freed and returned to its unshackled beauty.
Our work at Pullen Pullen to protect the Night Parrot is supported by the Queensland Government’s Nature Assist program.