IMPORTANT NEWS: HISTORIC HABITAT PURCHASE BY BIRDS AUSTRALIA
Birds Australia, the former RAOU, has moved into a new phase of conservation
activity with an agreement to purchase Gluepot Station in South Australia's
Murray Mallee, in order to protect its important habitat values in
perpetuity for several threatened birds.
The 50,000 hectare Gluepot grazing property (which is slightly larger than
Wilson's Promontory National Park) has good breeding populations of
Malleefowl, Red-lored Whistlers, Scarlet-chested Parrots and Striated
Grasswrens, as well as non-breeding Regent Parrots. However, its premier
conservation significance is that it contains a third of all known colonies
of the critically endangered Black-eared Miner, Australia's most threatened
mainland bird species.
A major reason for Gluepot's importance is that the eastern third of the
property is one of a very small number of sites in eastern Australia more
than 10 km from any permanent water source. This has protected its fauna
from introduced predators such as foxes and feral cats, and its vegetation
from introduced herbivores such as rabbits and feral goats.
Much of Gluepot's mallee has not been burnt for over 50 years. This
old-growth woodland is vital for Black-eared Miners and Malleefowl. One
reason for some urgency in acquiring the land is to be able to manage it to
minimise the risk of wildfire in habitat critical for these species.
Gluepot Station is currently a pastoral lease, but Birds Australia intends
to reserve the property under a South Australian Heritage Agreement as soon
as possible. Its extraordinary natural values are enhanced by its position
next to the 600,000 hectare Bookmark Biosphere Reserve.
Birds Australia will be calling on the birding community as well as the
broader community to help raise funds to purchase and manage the land. When
Birds Australia takes possession (expected by early September) and access is
allowed, birdos and other interested people will be welcome to visit to
inspect the property and maybe twitch a Scarlet-chested Parrot. It is
expected that one of the first tasks to be undertaken at Gluepot will be a
comprehensive survey of its flora and fauna.
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
The Virtual Emu: http://www.vicnet.net.au/~raou/raou.html