Size doesn't matter in south-west

about  Monjebup Reserves  
on 19 Oct 2016 

In late 2009 we bought an old farm in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link to add to our existing Monjebup Reserve.

The area of the property we called 'Monjebup North' was just over 1,100 ha in total, comprising a bit over 400 ha of country cleared for cropping and grazing, and a bit under 400 ha each of unmodified original vegetation, and country cleared and then abandoned to natural regeneration.

We have local botanist Libby Sandiford doing a rolling vegetation survey through our Fitz-Stirling reserves, and this year she's surveying Monjebup North.

In the remarkable biodiversity hotspot of south-west Australia, every one of our little properties is a treasure trove. The few hundred hectares of original bush on Monjebup North turn out to be what's almost certainly the world stronghold for the little-known Priority 1 species Kunzea newbeyi, which grows there in abundance. And it's the only one of the fewer than 5 sites from which the species is recorded that's secure.

So size really doesn't matter too much here – as botanical experts including Professor Stephen Hopper are at pains to point out, even relatively small patches can have exceptional conservation value in our part of the world.

We have just enough space left on the formerly cleared portion of Monjebup North to dedicate a few hectares to a restoration project focused on our latest 'favourite plant', so have applied for funding for a direct-seeding project to enhance conservation prospects for Kunzea newbeyi by re-establishing it on soil types on which it likely occurred before land clearing.

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