Our plan at Bush Heritage for the next 12–18 months is to ensure the conservation programs on our 31 existing reserves are successfully maintained, and to continue to develop our conservation partnerships.
Bustards in native grasslands, Edgbaston Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
I have visited reserves and partners in every state in the last few months and it has been a thrill to see the level of activity from staff, supporters, partners and volunteers, all contributing to our conservation outcomes.
A recent highlight has been the seven day ‘species discovery blitz’ held at Charles Darwin Reserve, WA, in May.
Earthwatch Australia and BHP Billiton Iron Ore established a partnership which, with the support of the Federal Government through the Australian Biological Resources Study, enabled scientists from a range of institutions to scour the reserve to identify both rare and new species.
Although Bush Heritage routinely conducts such ‘blitzes’ on new reserves, this trial enabled a more detailed survey than has previously been possible on any reserve. We acknowledge and thank each of these partners and especially the volunteers from BHP who participated.
With 37 people present, never have so many people been on one reserve at one time in the name of a dedicated science program.
On the theme of partnerships, this newsletter reports on one particularly significant Indigenous partnership in the Kimberley.
Stony-creek frog, Yourka Reserve, Qld. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Bush Heritage believes that we can and should work closely with Indigenous people throughout Australia. We have important partnerships on and near reserves as well as in our five ‘anchor’ regions. In addition we have been invited by traditional owners to participate in a number of other places including the Kimberley.
We join these activities where we can helpfully contribute and where our conservation objectives will be met. These partnerships will contribute very significantly to our 2025 objective to protect 1% of Australia.
Finally, I am pleased to report that our Board is at full strength following two recent appointments. Louise Sylvan is a long-standing supporter of Bush Heritage, having donated two properties over the last 10 years, Burrin Burrin and ‘Nameless’. Louise is currently a Commissioner with the Productivity Commission, is the former chief executive of the Australian Consumers Association and is a former deputy chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Leanne Liddle is an Arrente woman from Alice Springs. Leanne sits on the Arid Lands NRM Board, the NRM Aboriginal State Wide Advisory Committee and the NRM Volunteers Committee. She's currently the Parks and Wildlife Aboriginal Programs Coordinator for the Department for Environment and Heritage South Australia.
Doug Humann, CEO