The conservation value of Bowra has been questioned by several contributors.
As I am more familiar with Bowra than anyone else on birding-aus (except Ian
and Julie, the owners, of course) and some misleading (and poorly considered)
information has been presented I have added my two-cents worth.
I won’t dwell on the bird species richness except to mention that it includes
i) 6 species listed as Threatened in Queensland, four of which are resident
breeding species on the property, while the remaining two are nomads (one of
which has been recorded breeding on Bowra), and ii) a large number of species
that are largely restricted to or more abundant in this part of Australia. The
birds aside, I believe Bowra has high conservation value for several reasons.
First, the property contains substantial areas of natural vegetation
communities (‘habitats’) that have minimal grazing-related degradation due to
sensitive land management practices and low stocking levels. Importantly, the
encroachment of woody weeds, which is a symptom or poorly-managed grazed land
is slow and not extensive on Bowra. Furthermore, the vegetation communities on
the property are representative of the entire Mulga Lands Bioregion, which is
poorly conserved in the public reserve system and not represented within the
private reserve system. Second, the species richness of other vertebrates,
while poorly-studied, appears to be considerable (contrary to one person’s
comments). For example, 18 species of frog have been recorded on the property,
including a threatened species. This is probably the highest species richness
for this group possible within the entire Bioregion and western Queensland/NSW!
The reptile fauna includes an impressive list of elapid snakes, and even a
skink which has only previously been recorded in localities several hundred
kilometres to the north. The mammal fauna is very poorly known but at least in
recent history includes the Kultarr and still includes the Little Pied Bat,
both threatened species in QLD. Last, the condition of the land (including the
vegetation) on the property relative to the entire district is apparently well
above average according to a local consultant who inspected the property and
has extensive experience in the Mulga Lands.
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