On the same day in July that Bush Heritage announced the acquisition of Bon Bon Station (see Bush Heritage News, Autumn 2008), I was gazing into one of the extraordinary springs at Edgbaston Station, our most recent and 31st acquisition.
Corackerup moort Eucalyptus vesiculosa is protected on Monjebup Reserve. Photo Lochman Transparencies.
The warm sun flashed off a tiny red-fin blue-eye, Australia’s smallest freshwater fish, swimming in water that had bubbled up from the aquifer of the Great Artesian Basin.
The entire global population of this fish resides in only a few springs on Edgbaston. This is remarkable enough, but the property also boasts four freshwater plants and snails that are likewise found nowhere else in the world.
The springs and the Wills family’s Edgbaston home are in Iningai country to which I have now travelled many times. It is a vast flat landscape that can flood after rain, and with a variety of vegetation types such as spinifex, woodlands and forest.
Allan and Fay Wills’ knowledge of this country and their place in it forms part of a long and important tradition. They will remain at Edgbaston and guide Bush Heritage in its conservation work and the preservation of the property’s cultural heritage.
In August I spent three days visiting Carnarvon Station Reserve with former Deputy Prime Minister and Bush Heritage Ambassador Tim Fischer and other guests. Mr Fischer, recently appointed as the country’s first resident ambassador to the Vatican, travelled to Carnarvon to gain first-hand experience of our reserve management practices.
‘Although my commitments in the Vatican will impact on my ambassadorial role with Bush Heritage, my belief and passion for the work you are doing has not diminished,’ Tim said.
Although my commitments in the Vatican will impact on my ambassadorial role with Bush Heritage, my belief and passion for the work you are doing has not diminished.
Tim will use his remaining months in the country to help raise Bush Heritage’s profile. Tim particularly applauded the work being done by staff and volunteers to repair the cluster of mountain springs at the northern and eastern tips of the Murray Darling Basin. We have now identified more than 30 springs on the reserve, 12 of which have been fenced to keep out feral animals but allow in native fauna. It's a thrill to see Carnarvon, our longest standing large reserve, in such excellent condition.
With your help we can secure the funds necessary for the long-term management of Edgbaston and Carnarvon and all our other reserves. Continuing financial support is essential as the number of reserves increases. Over time, the costs of property management become much greater than the costs of each acquisition, but they're necessary if we're to meet our conservation objectives.
Your financial assistance will enable our growing, effective team at Bush Heritage to continue to meet the ambitious goals we have set to extend our work and influence. Thank you!
Doug Humann, CEO