Eurardy, Western Australia
In a landmark joint project, Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund will be restoring 750 hectares of cleared land on Bush Heritage Australia's Eurardy Reserve in mid-west WA. In July 2019, work was started on the first 200 hectares, with 36,000 native seedlings planted. We will be funding the planting of the remaining 550 hectares over the coming 5 years.
The conditions vary across the large site, so we are carefully planting local species suitable to the soil types, with all coming from local seed collection. It is always our hope that the planting will be self sustaining with little intervention and we rely on natural rainfall. In the highly fertile red soil, we will develop a biodiverse native carbon planting. In the less fertile yellow sandy soil, we will plant the less carbon intensive endemic species that contribute to the ecological restoration of the site.
All established vegetation will be native species sourced from within the region. The seed and seedling mix will vary across the property depending upon availability of species and soil type. Some species that might be planted include: Golden Wattle, Hakea, Melaleuca, and York Gum.
Seed collecting will be conducted later this year to improve genetic pool and biodiversity of the species and maintain a seed bank. A mix of shrubs and trees allows for diverse vegetation, which in turn restores habitat for many native fauna.
Bush Heritage is an independent not-for-profit that buys and manages land, and partners with Aboriginal people, to protect our irreplaceable landscapes and native species, forever. In 2005, Bush Heritage purchased Eurardy Reserve, which is home to several threatened species, including the malleefowl and 6 native plant species, and has high floristic diversity.
Our latest Eurardy Reserve report provides information on the second monitoring program, following the successful planting of 36,500 seedlings in July 2019. The initial monitoring occurred in October 2019, approximately three months after the planting event. Survival rate was at 98.5 % and seedlings were very well established.
In March 2020, the 12 monitoring plots were surveyed again. Monitoring results showed a 22% drop in survival rates compared to the 98.5% of survival in October 2019. Stem density averaged 157 per ha, compared to 192 in October 2019.
This is a good result considering the extremely low rainfall of only 29mm between the two sampling periods. Sufficient winter rainfall in 2020 is critical for the continued survival of the seedlings.
Carbon Neutral Charitable Fund acknowledges the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia and recognises their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.