Brogo

Established:
1995
Area:
120 hectares
Location:
20km north of Bega

In the valley of the Brogo River, this reserve is one of the largest areas of intact native bushland left in the region, and conserves several forest ecosystems that are poorly protected in NSW.

These forests are irresistible for many native birds.

Old-growth forest red gum at Brogo Valley Reserve. Photo: Wayne Lawler/Ecopix.
Old-growth forest red gum at Brogo Valley Reserve. Photo: Wayne Lawler/Ecopix.
Since buying the property in 1995 we've recorded over 70 species, including the Wonga Pigeon, Superb Lyrebird, Black-faced Flycatcher, Jacky Winter, and the small but beautiful Scarlet Honeyeater.

One of the drawcards for birds, particularly those that eat fruit, is the dry rainforest, often dominated by low, rock-hugging native fig trees.

Another drawcard is the riverine forest and scrub down near the Brogo River – a sprawling community of River Sheoaks, Gossamer Wattle, Tree Violet and Basket Grass.

Forest mist in the early light at Brogo Valley Reserve. Photo Bob Brown.
Forest mist in the early light at Brogo Valley Reserve. Photo Bob Brown.
A rare forest community on the reserve is the Brogo wet vine forest – only found in the Bega and Cobargo valleys.

Bigger birds love Brogo too, including Sooty, Powerful and Boobook owls, no doubt attracted to the larger hollow-bearing trees and abundant prey that can still be found on the property.

All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

What Brogo protects

More than 90% of Australia's dry rainforests have been destroyed. Brogo protects patches of the most southerly extent of what remains in NSW.

An Eastern Yellow Robin. Photo Stuart Harris.
An Eastern Yellow Robin. Photo Stuart Harris.
The higher slopes and gully heads of the reserve are forested with Wet Vine Forest dominated by Forest Red Gum along with Coast Grey Box and Blue Box. Vines and twiners are common. The understorey is open and shrubby and there's a species-rich ground cover of herbs and grasses.

Pockets of Dry Rainforest around rocky outcrops are dominated by Port Jackson Figs along with Kurrajong and Native Quince.

Two patches of Warm Temperate Rainforest occur on lower slopes. Here Lillypilly and Sassafras, Tree Violet Bolwarra, Yellow Wood and many ferns are present.

Animals in the forests include Sooty and Powerful Owls, Grey-headed Flying-fox, the Eastern Yellow Robin and the Long-nosed Bandicoot.

What we're doing

Tiger Pear is a challenge at Brogo. Photo Peter Saunders.
Tiger Pear is a challenge at Brogo. Photo Peter Saunders.
Keeping the weed tiger pear cactus at bay is a pretty important job at Brogo. A rapidly spreading relative of the infamous 'prickly pear', the plant is regarded as the most troublesome of all invasive cactus species in NSW.

Great care has to be taken when in its presence to avoid the spreading stems, which readily detach from the main body and stick to shoes, clothing, skin and fur.

Dawn fog in the Brogo River valley. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Dawn fog in the Brogo River valley. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
With help from neighbours and other local volunteers the main infestation of this cactus has been removed, and we now focus on removing new plants that pop up or grow from seeds brought in by kangaroos.

We also spend time working with Brogo's neighbours, giving them a helping hand in developing voluntary conservation agreements for their properties.

Flying through the rainforest

Grey-headed Flying-foxes have a deep affinity with many ecosystems along Australia's east coast, including the rainforest and eucalypt forests found at Brogo.

The largest bat species in Australia, these gentle giants are critically important for seed dispersal and pollination for a wide range of native trees, and contribute directly to the regeneration and evolutionary processes of many forest ecosystems.

Sunlight shines through a rock fig at Brogo Reserve. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
Sunlight shines through a rock fig at Brogo Reserve. Photo Wayne Lawler / EcoPix.
They can cover extraordinary distances in the search for food, and in one case in Australia two individuals were recorded travelling more than 2,000km over a nine-month period.

At Brogo they often stop over to feed on fruiting figs, and the older eucalypts produce enough nectar and pollen to act as important food sources.

By protecting this property we're contributing in a small but positive way to the survival of this nationally threatened species.