What we’re doing
The current Reserve Managers, Mike Chuk and Julia Harris, have worked on Bon Bon since early 2013 and were joined by Field Officer Kate Holmes in mid-2016. They're regularly joined by volunteers, other staff, Green Army teams, scientists, contractors and students.
The major weed threat is from invasive Buffel Grass introduced from Africa, which out-competes native species and can increase the frequency and intensity of fire.
Further north in Central Australia, vast areas are now infested with Buffel. At Bon Bon Buffel is still in the early stages of infestation – it’s mostly found along roads, tracks and a number of creeks. Even so, eliminating it will take years of dedicated work and monitoring.
Through a partnership with South Australian Government agencies all 65km of the Stuart Highway passing through Bon Bon was sprayed. We’ve also sprayed along tracks and creek lines.
Rabbits are a destructive environmental and agricultural pest – they damage native plants and compete with native wildlife for food and shelter. They can also cause soil instability and erosion.
We were funded through a South Australian Native Vegetation Council grant to map and rip rabbit warrens on Bon Bon. The mapping of the most sensitive land systems was done in 2012–13 and ripping in early 2016. Over 950 warrens have been treated with help from Wayne Willis (senior Aboriginal custodian). Before starting we consulted with four senior Aboriginal men and women, led by Bill Lennon.
Fox and cat control is also undertaken.
Our fire strategy aims to limit the risk of landscape-size wildfires and limit affected areas should one occur. Our fire plan identifies a series of graded fuel breaks through the mulga woodlands in the south of the reserve.
Erosion has been identified using historical information and aerial surveys. One of the areas in need of significant repair works was the Old Stuart Highway south of the homestead.
Bon Bon became one of two pilot properties for the Ecosystem Management Understanding (EMU) Pilot Project in the South Australian rangelands. This work was funded by the South Australian Arid Lands Board through its Commonwealth funded Waters Programme.
Earth banks to repair zones on the Old Stuart Hwy were designed by the EMU project and built in 2011.
Our ecologist, Sandy Gilmore, manages annual surveys of vegetation structure, soil surface, photo point and bird monitoring. Every 5 years an ecological outcomes performance report and scorecard is produced.
History and cultural values
The Antakirinja Matu-Yankunytjatjara people are the Traditional Owners of Bon Bon. We’re working together to survey and protect culturally significant sites and to develop an Indigenous Land Use Agreement. This will set out the ongoing relationship between us.
The buildings and infrastructure on reserve reflect Bon Bon's 130-year history as a sheep station. During this era it was home to a large community including station managers, overseers, stockmen and Aboriginal families.
Bon Bon Station was originally part of the Mount Eba Station lease and was taken up by T.P. Gourlay in 1902. It's named after Bon Bon Billa Well; a dependable water supply in the early days. Bon Bon Billa is understood to mean “bellbird” and likely derived from the local Aboriginal language (Source: 'Kingoonya A way of life' by Robert J. Munro).
We’re working with the South Australian Museum to archive a number of historical documents and have set up a museum of pastoral relics in the old Workers Quarters near the Homestead.
Bon Bon was bought in 2008 with funds from the Commonwealth’s National Reserve System Program; the Government of South Australia’s Department of Environment and Heritage and funds from supporters.