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John Douglas Block

Established:

2022

Area:

185 ha

Location:

185km north-west of Melbourne

Traditional Custodians:

Dja Dja Wurrung people (Djaara)

A ‘stepping stone’ between our J.C. Griffin and Bellair reserves, this property contains quality stands of the depleted and endangered woodland communites Heathy Woodland, Grassy Woodland Mosaic and Creekline Grassy Woodland.

Our conservation program in the Kara Kara Wedderburn focal landscape in central Victoria received a significant boost with the acquisition of this 185 hectare block, which is perfectly situated to support our goals to strategically connect the remaining remnants of native vegetation in the Dalyenong region.

It supports many nationally threatened woodland birds such as the Brown Treecreeper, Blue-winged Parrot and Hooded Robin.

A hollowed out old tree providing fantastic habitat on the John Douglas block. Photo Vibeke Stisen.

The property, named after the late John Douglas (a well-respected local farmer and conservationist) is an incredibly important mosaic of woodland communities including the threatened Goldfields Creekline Grassy Woodland. In Victoria, 84% of Creekline Grassy Woodlands have been cleared and 32% of what remains is on private land.

We’re lucky that 80% of this property is intact and has not been cleared for agriculture – it’s an example of what’s possible when farmers have a vision for shared landscapes.

Areas like this are rare in Victoria, and are of exceptional conservation significance. The reserve features important stands of aging Yellow Box, Long-leaved Box, Grey Box, Yellow Gum, Red Gum which all support hollow-nesting fauna, as well as Buloke and Drooping Sheoak which, when mature, provide important fodder for cockatoos and parrots.

There's an area within the southern remnant patch of Heathy Woodland that's been excluded from grazing for 60 years. It was referred to as 'the garden' by Mr and Mrs Douglas. The vegetation there has exceptionally high quality structure and ecological value and is testament to the passion that John and his family had for the property.

Southern Boobook. By Jeroen van Veen

What the reserve protects

Animals: Hooded Robin, Brown Treecreeper, Diamond Firetail, Southern Boobook Owl Swift Parrot; Tree Goannas, Brush-tailed Phascogales and Yellow-footed Antechinus.

Plants: Yellow Box, Long-leaved Box, Grey Box, Yellow Gum, Red Gum, Buloke, Drooping Sheoak and the Red Cross Spider-orchid.

Vegetation communities: Goldfields Creekline Grassy Woodland, Heathy dry forest, Box and Ironbark forest, Alluvial terraces herb rich woodland.

By Vibeke Stisen

What we’re doing

This reserve is one piece in a wider landscape mosaic that’s owned and managed by many different groups and individuals. As a member of the Kara Kara Conservation Management Network, we’re working with neighbours, other non-government organisations and government departments to ensure our conservation efforts are successful both on the reserve and in the wider landscape.

Cultural values

The John Douglas block is on the traditional lands of the Dja Dja Wurrung (Djaara) people, with whom we are working closely on all our central Victoria properties. 

Bush Heritage looks forward to walking together with our Djaara partners to Dhelkunya Dja (heal Country) in djangi Dja Dja Wurrung balak (the home of the Dja Dja Wurrung people).

Species at John Douglas

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