When Bush Heritage bought Eurardy Reserve in 2005, it had an immediate impact on Western Australian conservation. Overnight, the amount of jam and york gum woodlands protected in the Geraldton Sandplain bioregion jumped from less than 1% to 22%.
The decision to buy Eurardy had many other benefits, including cementing protection for part of the Southwest Botanical Province.
The diversity of plant species found in this region outranks Australia's tropical rainforests, and its annual wildflower displays attract people from all over the world.
One of only 34 biodiversity hotspots recognised globally, the province makes up just 0.23% of the Earth's land surface and yet supports 12.6% of its rare and threatened flora.
Eurardy Reserve itself, tucked into the northern edge of this biodiversity hotspot, protects over 500 plant species, including at least five nationally endangered or vulnerable plant species, and forms a critical habitat link between Kalbarri National Park and Toolonga Nature Reserve to the north.
All this has been protected thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
What Eurardy Reserve protects
Land clearing and the spread of salinity have devastated much of this region, making the remaining bushland exceptionally important for species such as the nationally vulnerable Malleefowl. Eurardy is also home to the endangered Small-petalled Beyeria – a plant presumed extinct until rediscovered in 2005. These significant species and communities are also found:
Animals: Red-tailed Black Cockatoo, Spinifex Hopping-mouse, Hairy-footed Dunnart, Ash-grey mouse.
Plants: Northern Dwarf Spider-orchid, Feather-flowers, Kalbarri Spider-orchid, Beard's mallee, Wreath flower.
Vegetation communities: York gum woodland, Scrub-heath, Shrublands of acacia, casuarina, Eucalyptus eudesmoides (mallalie), Ashby's banksia and other species, Sceptre banksia and sandplain cypress woodland, Acacia rostellifera (summer-scented wattle) thicket.
What we’re doing
A massive project is underway to plant a million trees and shrubs in the red soils of a 1350 hectare cleared area. We were able to start thanks to a partnership with Perth’s Carbon Positive Australia and the generosity of supporters will help us give the new seedlings the best chance of survival in the months and years ahead.
Eurardy has benefited enormously from the generous support of volunteers. Volunteers joined forces with our Reserve Managers to survey Malleefowl activity, making an important contribution to what we know about this nationally vulnerable species on Eurardy.
It was a special day when an active mound was found, but even better news was to follow when some broken eggshell and downy feathers on the mound's edge indicated a successful hatching.
The Bungabandi Creek Restoration Project has also benefited from volunteers contributions. Brush has been laid in key sections of the disturbed creekbed and, together with closing a track through the creek, will slow water erosion and re-establish a more natural flow.
We've also had great success with rabbit control. Numbers are now so low that many plants have been seen starting to naturally regenerate. In addition to rabbits, foxes and feral goats are also controlled at Eurardy.
When the big reds and yellows of Eurardy Reserve come out to play, they draw an abundance of local birds and insects.
The big reds are Feather-flowers, Claw-flowers and Grevilleas, and when in bloom they cast flushes of palest coral, rosy red and vivid scarlet across the landscape.
The big yellows are Acacias and ground-hugging Everlastings, which stand in gorgeous contrast to the blue sky above. And that's just the beginning – with flowers in pinks, purples, blues and whites all adding to the heady mix.
No wonder Eurardy is one of the most outstanding wildflower destinations along WA's Batavia Coast.
In 2003 the Wildflower Society of Western Australia began to help with surveys on the reserve, which they continue to contribute to today. On their first survey 481 native plant species were identified, and many were pressed and mounted in a field herbarium that's now regularly updated.
Eurardy Reserve and the area surrounding it is the traditional country of the Nanda people. This area is of strong cultural significance, particularly Bungabandi Creek, where camping areas and artefacts have been identified.