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14,400 ha
150km north-west of Bourke
Traditional Owners:
Budjiti people

Naree is part of the traditional Country of the Budjiti people. It’s a former pastoral property found in one of the least disturbed parts of the Murray-Darling Basin in north-western NSW.

Naree lies in the Mulga Lands bioregion, 150km north-west of Bourke, on the Cuttaburra Channels that connect the Paroo and Warrego rivers. Its southern boundary is the Cuttaburra Creek, and Yantabulla Swamp adjoins the property to the west.

These wetlands are special. They sit in a flood zone where rainfall is very erratic, which means they’re often dry for long periods. The land’s ecology reflects the boom and bust cycles of wet and dry that are typical of the rangelands of inland Australia.

Average yearly rainfall is only 300mm, but highly variable. Floods are unpredictable but when they arrive Back Creek Swamp on Naree becomes a key water bird breeding site.

A Kangaroo amongst the dry wetlands. Photo David and Sue Akers.

Local rainfall and run-off also supports a wide variety of wetland types, which provide habitat for many different species.

Water bird populations have been surveyed on Naree and surrounding areas for years by Professor Richard Kingsford. Our own surveys have documented over 187 bird species, and a comparable number of plant species since 2013, several of them vulnerable or endangered under NSW legislation.

We’ve also recorded 15 mammal species, including the vulnerable (in NSW) Striped-faced Dunnart, Sandy Inland Mouse and Little Pied Bat. All this is protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Reserve Manager Greg Carroll looks out over welcome floodwaters. Photo Vanessa Westcott.

Yantabulla Station

In 2015 Yantabulla Station, a property adjoining Naree, was bought for conservation by the South Endeavor Trust.

With skilled land managers already on the ground at Naree, it made sense for us to form a partnership and to manage the land as one consolidated reserve with Naree.

This more than doubled our conservation footprint in the area and provided major efficiencies.

Map of Naree and Yantabulla Stations.
Map of Naree and Yantabulla Stations.

What Naree protects

Naree helps protect nationally significant, arid-zone ephemeral wetlands, considered among the top 20 for waterbirds in Australia.

Relatively mild winter temperatures, compared with the rest of NSW and Victoria, make it a refuge for migratory birds forced to leave breeding areas in the cold season.

The rich mosaic of vegetation, including grasslands, mulga woodlands and mixed woodlands of belah, ironwood and leopardwood provides refuge in dry times for many native animals including reptiles, small mammals and birds.

The Holy Cross (crucifix) Frog in reeds at Naree. Photo Victoria Brockfield.

Key habitats include:

A Spotted Harrier, is among the birds to enjoy the habitat on Naree. Photo Jane Blackwood.
A Spotted Harrier, is among the birds to enjoy the habitat on Naree. Photo Jane Blackwood.

  • Alluvial floodplains and swamps with semi-permanent waterholes, floodplain woodlands and lignum swamps. Species associated with these include the Freckled Duck, Pink-eared Duck and Golden Perch. Nectar production attracts many birds.
  • Local basins and channels with ephemeral wetlands including cane grass wetlands, coolabah swamps, open shallow lakes, marshes and clay pans, that provide habitat for species such as the Brolga, Spotted Harrier, Crucifix Frog, Peron’s Tree Frog and unique aquatic animals such as Shield Shrimp.
  • Mulga woodlands of soft loamy soils and hard rocky soils. Their numerous tree hollows provide breeding habitat for birds such as the Major Mitchell Cockatoo and White-browed Treecreeper, and numerous species of bats.
  • Mixed woodlands of belah, ironwood, leopardwood, rosewood and whitewood. Their diversity supports a wide range of species.

Cultural values

The Budjiti are the Traditional Owners and have close personal connections to the property. Since our purchase of Naree, Budjiti elder Phil Eulo and his family have been helping us understand the property’s history, natural values and cultural connections.

They’ve helped with our environmental and heritage assessments and with our conservation planning. We’re tremendously pleased to have the Budjiti so intimately involved in our conservation work on Naree.

Budjiti elder Phil Eulo. Photo from SBS program Living Black.

To promote an understanding of their culture, the Budjiti people have produced a booklet describing the traditional uses of local plants.

“Bush Heritage is doing what we wanted to do all along – keep our country natural. Now we’ve got the opportunity to bring this back to its natural state... for the new generations, white and black.”
– Phil Eulo on SBS program Living Black.

What we’re doing

Our aim is to reduce total grazing pressure on the property, allowing the natural wetland and woodland habitats to regenerate. High priorities include:

  • repairing and upgrading fences to manage stray livestock and feral animals
  • pig, goat, fox, cat and rabbit control
  • fire preparation and use as a management tool
  • buffel grass control
  • developing a property-wide monitoring plan to measure our impact.