Gondwana Link
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About our name

Gondwana

The name Gondwana represents the ecological distinctive nature of the Southern Hemisphere, the immense biological lineage of south western Austraia, and our view of people as part of healthy ecosystems.

Gondwana originated as a Sanskrit word, describing a region in northern India. In this original use it encapsulates both people (the Gonda, a Dravidian people) and place (vana, the forest).  We think ‘people of the forest’ has a good ring about it.

The supercontinent

The name was first used in relation to geology in 1873 and soon came to be the name of an original ‘supercontinent’. Gondwana later separated into the southern hemisphere continents (Australia, Africa, South America and Antarctica) and India.

Gondwanan Evolution

When Gondwana formed, the evolutionary paths for the plants and wildlife of the northern and southern hemispheres diverged.

Thus, plant families such as the Proteaceae (eg the banksias and grevilleas) and the Haemodoraceae (eg kangaroo paws) only occur in South Africa, South America and Australia and are understood to be Gondwanan in origin, as are marsupials like kangaroos.

Over the 200 million or so years following the breakup of Gondwana, forces such as Australia’s increasing isolation, changes in climate and sea level and other geological events shaped the continued evolution of Australia’s biota, making it remarkably different from that of other parts of the world. 

Ancient Gondwanan Diversity

“You will see many things here that contradict your knowledge of life on Earth”
Professor Kingsley Dixon, Curtin University. WA’s Scientist of the Year for 2017.

Some eminent scientists, including Stephen Hopper and Tim Flannery, have suggested that the incredible diversity of Australia’s, and particularly Western Australia’s, plant species is partly due to the long biological lineage - a relatively uninterrupted 250 million years in south western Australia – and the ancient and infertile soil surfaces that have formed following eons of weathering and erosion, with fewer major mountain building or glacial periods here compared to other lands.

As such, the name Gondwana is a useful reminder that many of the western approaches to both biological science and land use originated in the northern hemisphere, amongst landscapes and ecosystems very different from those of the Gondwanan derived systems. 

We celebrate and affirm the biological importance of the southern hemisphere, of which south-western Australian is an exceptionally rich part, and to continue the development of 'Gondwanan' science and land use.

Gondwana Link

“Link” is a word applicable to many aspects of our work, because we are:

  • physically re-linking many valuable areas of bushland, to ultimately re-link whole ecosystems;
  • building links between a previously disparate array of organizations and individuals and supporting them to work cooperatively, and in so doing build lasting personal and professional links;
  • building critical links across many professions, from ecologists to political scientists, from farmers and miners to wilderness preservationists; and
  • linking what we’ve learnt from our work with those of colleagues in other Gondwanan countries.

Then there is the strong link we feel for south-western Australia, a link which drives our work. This is a love for country, a feeling of being physically linked to the land that keeps us with no choice but to move forward with our ambitious program.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image source: www.zmescience.com/

 

The upper reaches of the Margaret River. Photo courtesy Nature Conservation Margaret River Region.

 

Banksia coccinea or scarlet banksia. Photo Amanda Keesing

 

 

 

Nature Conservation Margaret River Region are romping ahead with Western Ringtail Possum conservation including surveying of the river foreshores and significant habitat enhancement. Photo Boyd Wykes.

 

 

 

Eddy and Donna Wajon, with Barry Heydenrych, amoungst the revegetation on their property Chingarrup Sanctuary.

 

 

Erosion control to stop tonnes of sand entering a creek at the bottom of the hill.

 

Foreshore planting along the Margaret River. Photo courtesy Nature Conservation Margaret River Region.

 

 

 

 

Keith Bradby and Fred Powell sharing their local knowledge.

 

Jerramungup High School students volunteer to build reptile habitat from unwanted building materials.

 

 

The western, wetter end of the link

 

 

Across south-western Australia

 

Where natural habitat is more fragmented

 

How we tackle the work

 

 

 

The world's largest remaining temperate woodland. Explore the work of the Photo. Jo Bel

 

 

Explore the work undertaken in the areas where the Karri, Jarrah and Marri grow.

 

 

The largest temperate woodland in the world

 

How we tackle the work

 

 

Our learnings and achievements

 

Across south-western Australia

 

 

 

 

‘River Walk’ Field Day. Basil Schur and Diane Harwood discuss rehabilitating riparian zones with Denmark Community. Photo Shaun Ossinger, WICC.

 

Wilson Inlet Catchment Committee Annual Fox Shoot 2018. Dispatched 126 foxes, 17 cats and 66 rabbits. Photo Shaun Ossinger, WICC.

 

Denmark College of Agriculture students planting native seedlings along a creek line to establish a wildlife corridor. Photo Mark Parre, 3 August 2018

 

There are a range of vegetation types across the Forest to Stirlings area. This is a jarrah-wandoo open woodland. Photo Basil Schur.

 

Across this region are strings of lake systems. Some are fresh, many are naturally salty. All are important habitat including for migratory bird species. Photo Basil Schur.

 

Planting around the wetlands and lakes helps protect and strengthen their habitat values. Wetlands are fragile and management is often needed to ensure their ongoing health. Photo Basil Schur.

 

Here is one of the healthy bandicoots living in the Balijup feral proof sanctuary. There is regular monitoring to check on their health and breeding. Photo Basil Schur

 

This is the predator proof fence around the wildlife sanctuary at Balijup near Tenterden. I has a floppy top which stops foxes and cats climbing over the top. Photo Basil Schur.

 

Breakaway country in the Stirling to Fitzgerald landscape. And on top a rare eucalypt. This region is a hotspot of biodiversity - even richer that the renowned Stirling Range. Photo Jiri Lochman.

 

Gondwana Link - reconnected country across 1,000 km of the SW corner of Australia, an internationally recognised biodiversity hotspot.

 

 

The coastline of the Manypeaks area is spectacular with granite domes, stunning beaches and extremely diverse vegetation. Photo Cary Nicholas.

 

Typical mallee heath with proteaceous species (eg banksias) which are highly evolved and flourish into this country. Photo Chinch Gryniewicz.

 

 

 

 

Russula cyanoxantha. Painted by Katrina Syme

 

Simon Judd checks for isopods under a jarrah stump.

 

 

Eucalyptus vesiculosa or Red-flowering moort has a very limited distribution. Restoration work has protected exiting stands and expanded the populations of this beautiful eucalypt. Photo Jiri Lochman.

 

 

This map of the remaining vegetation in SW Western Australia shows the connected bushland and the habitat gaps across Gondwana Link. Here is our best opportunity to relink ecosystems from east to west.

 

The range of flowers in the Manypeaks varied vegetation systems is astounding. This yellow Pimelea in the heathlands and scrubby mallee waves around in the wind and catches your attention.

 

Red-tailed Black Cockatoos love the Marri nuts. They hold the nuts in one claw and uses their very strong beaks to extract the seeds.

 

Cropping and running stock occurs across much of the Manypeaks region. This is a canola crop.

 

One of the many beautiful eucalypts that grow in the link. Photo Katie Syme.

 

This is an example of the heathlands found in parts of the region. Low shrubs with emerging Banksia coccinea - the scarlet banksia.

 

Humidicutis viridimagentea. Painted by Katrina Syme.

 

Noongar women visiting Nowanup. There are four generations from one family in the image. Gondwana Link strives to give the traditional owner the opportunity to use and manage country. Photo Amanda Keesing

 

National Tree day volunteers in our first year. Gondwana Link is many groups and individuals working together to achieve a shared vision.

 

Farmland north of the Stirling Range. People and their businesses are part of the landscape. Photo Amanda Keesing.

 

Aerial view showing the bushland and revegetation on the property Yarrabee at the base of the Stirling Range. Photo David Freudenberger.

 

 

There are some weird and wacky plants in the region - here is one of them. Acacia glaucoptera. Photo Amanda Keesing.

 

This cute honey possum needs nectar all year round. This means that in it's habitat something is flowering at all times of the year. Photo Amanda Keesing.

 

 

Some birds can fly long distances over disturbed areas. Others like the blue wren will only fly a few meters across cleared spaces. So habitat connectivity is different for different species. Photo Raana Scott.

 

Some of the many and varied fungi to be found across Gondwana Link. Photo Katrina Syme

 

 

The stunning Splendid Wren does not like to fly across cleared areas - it likes bush patches close together. Photo Shaun Welsh.

 

Restoration on Yarrabee just east of the Stirlings. Some locals feel this land and neighbouring blocks should never have been cleared as they are agriculturally low productivity. Gondwana Link are delighted to return the property to nature.

 

 

Environmental supporters. Photo: Amanda Keesing

 

Photo: AK

 

Lotterywest present a cheque to support the Knowledge Connection project, 2006. Photo: Amanda Keesing

 

Photo: Pam Lumsden

 

Gondwana Link receive a donation raised in New York through G'Day USA, 2007, arranged through The Nature Conservancy and delivered by their then CEO Steve McCormack.

 

Here is the same place 9 years later. Photo Amanda Keesing.