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The Michael Tichbon Field Station. Photo Will Marwick.
The Michael Tichbon Field Station. Photo Will Marwick.

Red Moort

Established:

2014

Area:

1,042 ha

Location:

130km north-east of Albany

Traditional Custodians:

Koreng Noongar people

Location Map
When we secured Red Moort in 2014 (originally named Monjebup Creek) our staff had already coveted the site as a potential acquisition for many years. It stood out as a remnant patch of intact bushland in an otherwise largely cleared or altered landscape.

More than 650 hectares of the reserve is virgin bushland and contains a unique vegetation complex including one of the largest known stands of Red Moort (Eucalyptus vesiculosa) in the world. Around 30% of the land was cleared in the 1970s, with most regenerating naturally in decades that followed.

The reserve is now part of a mosaic of natural sanctuaries between the Fitzgerald River and Stirling Range National Parks (the Fitz‑Stirling region). Our conservation work here is an important counterbalance to decades of land clearing and supports the Gondwana Link project, a plan to restore a 1,000km swathe of bushland from Western Australia's southwest to the edge of the Nullarbor Plain.

Red-flowered Corackerup Moort. Photo Angela Sanders.

Red Moort protects some of the area’s most at‑risk plant communities including mallee heath and yate woodlands.

The reserve is an example of the extraordinarily fine grain of the landscape in the global biodiversity hotspot of south-west WA. Moving over very short distances there are distinct and sudden boundaries from one vegetation system to another. 

It provides much needed habitat for animals such as the Black‑gloved and Tammar Wallaby, the threatened Malleefowl, Honey Possums and the Western Whipbird.

This is protected thanks to our generous supporters.

Ecologist Angela Sanders peering into a nest box with Simon Smale. Photo William Marwick.

What Red Moort Reserve protects

Red Moort protects the recently discovered Corackerup Moort, a small mallee eucalypt that shows off stunning pendulous red flowers in early winter. It's also a sanctuary for these significant species and communities:

Animals: Carpet Python, Crested Bellbird, Tammar Wallaby, Black-gloved Wallaby, Malleefowl, Western Pygmy Possum.

Plants: Feather Flowers, Nodding Banksia, Corackerup Moort, Kangaroo Paw, Sandplain Orchid

Vegetation communities: Mallet and moort woodland, Mallee heath, Flat-topped yate, Proteaceous rich heath.

Michael Tichbon Field Station

In 2019 the opening of the Michael Tichbon Field Station heralded a new era for field research in the region. For more than a decade, staff and volunteers faced long drives and no accommodation when accessing the reserves.

“When we just had a couple of days' work to do, it really wasn't worth putting a tent up for one night, so we used to do a lot of day trips. But then three hours of the day was spent traveling and less was done”.
– Ecologist Angela Sanders

The Michael Tichbon Field Station. Photo Lee Griffith Photography.

The station has transformed the way our staff, researchers, volunteers and partners work by enabling them to stay out in the field longer. We've been able to attract a lot of volunteers and provide opportunities for community engagement and research with this base to work from.

Alex Hams surveying nest boxes at Red Moort Reserve. Photo Nic Duncan.

What we're doing

Habitat is ideal for Tammar Wallaby, once thought nearly extinct in the region, with many being captured on infra-red remote sensor cameras on the reserve.

A survey of Malleefowl mounds in 2020 found 15 active mounds – the highest concentration of active mounds in south west WA at the time. We've since been working to enhance their recovery by controlling feral animals and restoring the landscape.

Walk trails are planned with the aim of using the Michael Tichbon Field Station as the start and end points for trails that will extend to other conservation reserves in the area.

Around 15ha was restored in winter 2014 using direct seeding on sandy soils to replace over 60 species of Banksia, Hakea, Melaleuca, Eucalypt and Acacia representative of the area. About 50ha contains a pasture of a native wallaby grass.

Noongar man Harley Coyne with Bush Heritage staff at a possible ochre site on Red Moort Reserve.

Cultural values

Survey work at Red Moort Reserve indicates that Aboriginal people used the area for a range of activities, including gathering raw materials, food processing, hunting, gathering, camping, making stone tools and for seasonal movement.

Working with Noongar elders and community, we're continuing to search for Aboriginal artefacts and other clues about how the land was used. This information continues to guide our management of the reserve.

The Michael Tichbon Field Station is also regularly used by Noongar groups for cultural field trips on country.

Species at Red Moort

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Stories from Red Moort

Bush Broadcast logo

09/02/2022

Bush Broadcast: Restoring the bush to protect native species

Join our staff as they chat about revegetation efforts underway to protect habitat critically important to native species in south-west WA.

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Andersonia parvifolia at Monjebup Reserve. Photo Libby Sandiford

BUSHTRACKS 14/01/2022

More than beauty

In south-west Western Australia, an incredible diversity of plants sustains an incredible diversity of pollinators. So what happens when both are under threat?

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BLOG 22/11/2021

Yorgas Bush Camp at Red Moort

Several Noongar women enjoyed two days on country exploring Red Moort Reserve and soaking up the view from the field station.

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BLOG 04/05/2021

The secret life of soil

Did you know that there can be more organisms in one teaspoon of soil than there are people on the planet? The microscopic communities that live in the soil beneath our feet are critical to the health of the planet and ourselves.

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BLOG 10/02/2021

Full steam ahead for Fitz Stirling fauna recovery

It was a proud day for us in south coast WA yesterday as we hosted the launch of our Fitz-Stirling Fauna Recovery Project! This ambitious five-year project spans about 40,000 hectares, making it the largest integrated fauna recovery program involving private landholders in the region’s history. 

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Screenshot from WA wildflowers webinar.

18/12/2020

WA wildflowers

Ecologist Angela Sanders and Alex Hams (Healthy Landscape Manager in South West WA) discuss our Fitz-Stirling reserves. Botanist Libby Sandiford  presents  floral assessments.

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BLOG 04/12/2020

Wildflowers galore in south west WA

Botanist extraordinaire Libby Sandiford has spent the past few years striding across our properties in the Fitz-Stirling in south-west Western Australia. She's documented an incredible 934 species of flora in just under 4000 hectares, which is highly biodiverse by anyone's reckoning.

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BUSHTRACKS 25/09/2020

My happy place (Angela Sanders)

“We have lost so many of our plants and animals in this corner of Australia and I love to sit on this breakaway in the centre of the reserve and look out and pretend that they’re all still there."

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Wildflowers on Monjebup Reserve. Photo Jessica Wyld Photography.

BUSHTRACKS 25/09/2020

From tin whistles to tinsel

As we prepare to start a first-of-its-kind feral control program in the Fitz-Stirling, Noongar Traditional Custodian Aunty Carol Petterson reflects on the changes seen in her lifetime.

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BUSHTRACKS 13/04/2020

Jane Caro: Out bush

When writer and self-confessed city-slicker Jane Caro takes an opportunity to venture west, it leads her to experience all the highlights and some of the lowlights of life in the field.

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BLOG 09/04/2020

Revegetation monitoring

It had been 16 years since our last visit to Chereninup Creek Reserve, for a National Tree Day planting. That cold and blustery day was the start of a revegetation program in the mega-diverse region between the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River National Parks in southern WA.

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BLOG 19/11/2019

Red Moort a hotspot for Malleefowl

A plane flew over our Fitz-Stirling reserves earlier this year and on-board was a Light Detection and Ranging device (LiDAR). It uses pulses of light to create 3D models of the terrain. These are then interpreted to identify malleefowl nesting mounds. 

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BLOG 01/05/2019

Cat tracking from the air

It's encouraging to see increasing recognition of the terrible toll feral cats are exacting on our native wildlife, and increasing concern to do something about it. Early Monday morning I headed out to Red Moort to get up in the air with feral cat researcher Sarah Comer and her Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions colleague, Abby, to locate the feral cats Sarah has collared across our Fitz-Stirling landscape on the South Coast of Western Australia.

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BUSHTRACKS 22/03/2019

Feral focus

How we’re working beyond our boundaries to control foxes and feral cats in south-west Western Australia.

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BUSHTRACKS 22/03/2019

In the field

The recent opening of the Michael Tichbon Field Station heralds a new era for Bush Heritage’s conservation work in the species-rich Fitz-Stirling region of the south-west.

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BLOG 22/02/2017

'Just a bit of bush'

Through the past three years we've had well-known and highly-respected South Coast botanist Libby Sandiford running a rolling vegetation survey across some of our Gondwana Link reserves. The information Libby has collated has surprised even us - we knew that what we're protecting and managing here is pretty special, but we didn't know quite how special.​

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BLOG 21/12/2015

Hidden camera bounty

When I put out five cameras on our recently acquired Monjebup Creek Reserve in Gondwana Link I had no idea what I might find. The cameras were out and working hard for 5 months in total and the results have been amazing.

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BLOG 12/06/2015

Monjebup Creek vegetation survey

Angela Sanders and I spent three long days this week exploring Monjebup Creek Reserve with contract botanist Libby Sandiford and volunteer Lynda Strahan. With funding from our great supporters here at South Coast Natural Resource Management we were able to bring the survey forward into June. Which was perfect timing as it turned out. The weather was glorious, but perhaps most importantly, the roo ticks that can make life difficult through the warmer months were nowhere to be seen!

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