Bush Heritage staff and volunteers erecting a trap line that was used to trap small nocturnal animals. Photo: Craig Allen
By now I hope that many of you may have heard about the buzz of activity that recently descended on the normally quiet bush setting of Naree Station in north‑west New South Wales.
A group of 27 scientists, volunteers and Traditional Owners gathered at this beautiful place that supporters like you have helped to protect forever.
The scientists rose early to measure, study, record and photograph, joined on some days by a throng of journalists who understood the importance of what was taking place. Images of Naree captured the imagination of Australians around the country, via TV, radio and digital channels.
What the scientists found at Naree was a very different scene from that which I experienced when I visited just ten months earlier. After many months without rain, Naree's wetlands had retreated to a handful of waterholes and springs. This is part of inland Australia's natural "boom and bust" cycle: waterbirds that were here in their thousands last year have moved to other parts of the country.
However, Naree's wetlands will fill again on the next flood, and the waterbirds will return. In the meantime, it's important that we carry out vital management work to improve the condition of the wetlands so that when the waterbirds return, they have every chance of maximising their breeding output.
Bush Heritage ecologist Matt Appleby led the botanical survey of Naree Station. Photo: Craig Allen
An important goal of the trip was to start to understand Naree's cultural significance, and in this we were privileged to have the assistance of Budjiti elders, who represent Naree's traditional owners. Working with indigenous people is a critical part of the way that we approach conservation on our reserves and through our partnerships.
The achievements of the blitz put us in good stead to go forward with our decision-making on how to best care for this important place. (You can read about some of the bioblitz results on the 'Around our reserves' article of this newsletter.) All that was achieved is thanks in large part to people like you who responded to our call for support, as well as the fantastic volunteers who held it all together.
I look forward to keeping you up-to-date with Naree as we get to know it even more.
Gerard O'Neill, CEO