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Landscape management

We monitor how our on-ground work impacts ecosystems so we can understand the relationship between our management actions and the benefits.

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. Some of the common tasks we carry out include:

Fire management

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.

More on fire management >>

Controlling a tactical backburn at Yourka's December 2019 bushfire.

Weeds

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 >>

Weed sprayers prepare for a working bee at Nardoo Hills in Victoria. Photo Craig Allen.

Fencing

Maintaining boundary fences with neighbouring pastoral properties ensures stock stays off our reserves. We work to remove internal fences (on some of our former pastoral properties) so animals such as kangaroos, wallabies and emus aren't caught in them or restricted. Animals need freedom to move to water and food sources, or in response to weather extremes.

Kurt Tschirner & volunteer Tony Geyer removing fencing at Boolcoomatta Reserve. Photo Tamara Potter.

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 >>

Heavily grazed paddock and a healthy native grassland on either side of fenceline. Photo Matthew Newton.

Protecting waterways

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 >>

Reserve Manager Phil Palmer on the Murrumbidgee River at Scottsdale Reserve. Photo Annette Ruzicka.

Managing 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. Research into their movements helps inform baiting and trapping programs.

More on managing feral predators >>

uke Bayley and Tim Doherty fit a radio-collar to a feral cat on Charles Darwin Reserve, WA. Photo Annette Ruzicka.

Soil erosion

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.

Managing soil erosion >>

Branches creating a silt trap in an erosion gully at Nardoo Hills Reserve.