Re: Bowra

To: "Dean Portelli" <>
Subject: Re: Bowra
From: "Chris Sanderson" <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2008 00:20:18 +0930
Hi Dean,

My email was not suggesting that Bowra isn't worth purchasing, only
commenting that the argument that a conservation organisation should
purchase it "because it's good for birds" doesn't hold much traction with me
(or with the conservation organisations it seems).  Your response is
certainly very interesting, and answers several of the questions I would
have except the point that Nicci raised about the low viability of Bowra
fauna populations based on the amount of habitat available.  Having visited
Bowra (as you would no doubt remember) I can certainly attest for the
natural beauty of the area, and for a working property the condition is
definitely good.  I certainly agree that a covenant or purchase to maintain
the status quo of the property (conservation managed but with continued
production) would be a good solution.


On Thu, Jun 12, 2008 at 5:55 PM, Dean Portelli <>

> Hi all,
>  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.
> Cheers, Dean
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