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.
It 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.
Local rainfall and runoff also support 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 survey efforts have documented over 187 species of birds, 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.
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.
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.
Key habitats include:
- 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.
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.
"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
Hear from Phil about Naree on SBS program Living Black
To promote an understanding of their culture, the Budjiti people have produced this booklet describing the traditional uses of some of the plants on Naree Station.
Download the PDF file
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.