Our on-ground conservation work is informed by science. Ecologists and field staff work closely with university partners and other researchers to understand the landscape.
We prepare management plans following an internationally recognised method – the Open Standard for the Practice of Conservation.
Goals are set for each of our 'conservation targets’. We then identify the resources and practical tasks needed to achieve them. In practice, some of the tasks our staff and volunteers do are common to most of our reserves. These include:
One of the best tools to combat wildfires is fire itself. Quite literally, fighting fire with fire. Controlled burns in the cooler months can reduce fuel load and creating a mosaic pattern of fire histories supports biodiversity and fire-sensitive plant and animal species. Fire management >>
Many weeds start as introduced pasture grasses or arrive on vehicles or in stock feed. They have the potential to out-compete and smother native vegetation. For example, lantana is a highly invasive weed that can change the structure of woodlands and forests. How we control weeds >>
Maintaining boundary fences with neighbouring pastoral properties ensures stock is kept off our reserves. We also put work into removing internal fences (on some of our former pastoral properties) so animals such as kangaroos, wallabies and emus aren't caught in them or injured. Fences also restrict movement – animals need freedom to move to water and food sources, or in response to weather extremes.
Controlling grazing pressure
Introduced grazing animals such as cattle, sheep, goats, rabbits and feral camels compete with natives for food. Heavy grazing can completely eliminate certain plants or prevent them from setting seed so they fail to regenerate. How we de-stock and manage grazing >>
Healthy springs, creeks and waterholes are the lifeblood of any ecosystem. We're tackling silting and salting of waterways by working with neighbours and in regional partnerships to replant large areas of cleared land, control agricultural run-off and modify local land management techniques. Restoring waterways >>
Feral cats and foxes
Cats and foxes have had a devastating impact on native wildlife, especially small mammals, birds and reptiles. Their impact is greatest where over-grazing or fire has left little vegetation in which native species can hide. On many reserves research into their movements helps inform baiting and trapping programs. Cats and foxes >>
Once natural drainage lines are changed (through the poor placement of tracks, dams and infrastructure or soil compaction from feral herbivores) water run-off can cause soil erosion. We use a number of control techniques ranging from simple silt traps to major earthworks. Soil erosion >>
We monitor how ecosystems change as a result of our activities. In this way we can understand the direct relationship between our management actions and the benefits. Such feedback is used to refine management plans and forthcoming work.