Named in honour of the great naturalist, Charles Darwin Reserve lies north-east of Perth, on the northern edge of the Western Australian wheat belt.
The sheep may be gone from this former pastoral station, but there's no shortage of animals roaming its ancient woodlands and wildflower-strewn plains.
The history of extensive clearing throughout south-west Western Australia makes it an important refuge for animals and plants once widespread in the region.
Charles Darwin Reserve falls largely within the Southwest Botanical Province, Australia's only internationally recognised biodiversity ‘hotspot'.
Plant species diversity in the Southwest Botanical Province is higher than in tropical Australian rainforests.
The Reserve also extends into the more arid Eremean Province to the north, creating an interesting ‘melting pot' of plant species.
Charles Darwin Reserve provides habitat for over 230 animals including mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians. So far we've recorded over 680 plant species. The daisy, pea and eucalypt families are particularly well represented and the diversity of wattles is very high with over 55 species recorded.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
What Charles Darwin Reserve protects
Animals: Malleefowl (nationally vulnerable), Major Mitchell Cockatoo, Regent Parrot, Australian Bustard, Rainbow Bee-eater, White-tailed Dunnart, Gilbert's Dunnart, Robust Striped Gecko, Spiny-tailed Skink, rare and endemic insect species including the nationally vulnerable Shield-backed Trapdoor spider.
Plants: 27 priority-listed species including Acacia cerastes (a rare, wiry wattle), Nodding waxflower (Philotheca nutans), Fragrant China Orchid (Cyanicula fragrans), Wurmbea sp. White Wells (a lily endemic to the reserve).
Vegetation communities: Salmon Gum woodland, York Gum woodland, granite outcrops and fringing vegetation, Callitris woodlands, jam and black tamma shrubland on ironstone, mallee woodlands, sandplain shrublands.