Gondwana Link

Gondwana Link Blog

Nature and landscapes

Love living in an ancient ecosystem! 40 Million years plus.
It is often claimed that Australians plants need fire and are adapted to fire, but what is the evidence for such statements? Shown here is a fossilised cone of a Banksia that lived 40 million years ago next to a cone of a Banksia that is with us today. The climate was a lot wetter when the ancient Banksia was around, so protection against fire is a very unlikely explanation for the structure we see. Defence against predators like cockatoos would appear to be a far more likely explanation, argue
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Saving Western Australia's rare Parrot
Western Australian filmmaker Jennene Riggs has spent the past three years following the team from remote Cape Arid National Park where the only known population of the critically endangered parrot was almost wiped out by devastating bushfires, to Perth Zoo where attempts are under way to breed the birds in captivity.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Small blessings
From a 'large scale program' to all our friends, a photo reminder from Amanda of the immense beauty and magic that is at the small scale. This cluster of Banksia flowers has had a visitor, part of the immense swarm of life that pulsates along the Gondwana Link. Let's all count our blessings this holiday season, there is so much that is wonderful about the world we live in.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
So what is killing these trees?
There are extensive areas of dead Salmon Gums adjoining the State Barrier Fence between Lake Deborah and Koolyanobbing, also a report of similar down by the Lake Varley Gate. Has anyone noticed this elsewhere, or have ideas on what is causing it? It does seem to be mainly Salmon Gums that are dying. We've sent a query on this to our colleagues at the Department of Agriculture, who manage the
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wildflower season is underway
It's one hell of a wildflower season now underway right across Gondwana Link. Thanks to Peter Luscombe from Ranges Link for this little reminder to those of us stuck in an office this week. Peter says "Hakea oldfieldii, one of the rare Hakeas native to our farm & the southern sector of the Ranges Link zone. Flowering now."
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A flourishing program thanks to your help
From the weird and whacky world of south western plants, we bring you the 'eucalypt' version of where we have got to with Gondwana Link. This Eucalyptus lehmanni bud has one delightful flower out, another on the way, and lots more just needing some sunlight. When they are all out together it is an amazingly beautiful sight. Well, we reckon all the wonderful people and groups working across Gondwana Link
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Waterfall flows after recent south coast rains
It has been a while since the waterfall on Bill and Jane Thompson's property 'Yarraweyah Falls' has thundered down the rocks like this. The land received 3 soaking days of rain (totaling 44mm) then another 43mm during a storm the following day. The restoration plantings as well as the bushland will be enjoying a drink.
Posted by: Amanda Keesing
Bush Heritage monitoring results
More important inventory and monitoring by Bush Heritage of their properties in the Fitz-Stirling section of Gondwana Link, and a revealing commentary on the weather conditions being experienced during November. Great work (and perseverance) by all involved! See the results of the monitoring work in Bush Heritage's blog article Fitz-Stirling fauna.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Bushfires near Esperance
Our thoughts and best wishes are with the people of Esperance, Scaddan, Salmon Gums and Norseman areas.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-18/wa-bushfires-farmer-among-four-killed-in-esperance-fires/6950142 
Posted by: Keith Bradby
The Time Lord of biological systems
Prof Dale Roberts from UWA has presented brilliantly on how even supposedly ‘fragile’ frog species have persisted in the south west for over 25 million years, so far, and how a number of frog species are adapting and evolving within a small number of years to cope with human induced changes to the ecosystem. This was happening in the biodiversity section of a South Coast Climate Change conference yesterday,
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A home near the Range!
Cockatoos on the Ranges Link section will shortly have a better choice of accommodation, once these six new nesting hollows are installed. The artificial hollows are needed as the area supports lots of good feeding habitat, but many of the old trees with hollows have been cleared (and it could be a few centuries before recent plantings get big enough). These hollows were made by the Carnaby’s group at Moora,
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Opening the gate that needs to stay closed
A great day in the bush with a great mob of people and a great achievement. The Balijup Fauna Sanctuary has now been officially opened by Terry (Tuck) Waldron MLA, ably assisted by Alan Hordacre, representing his family. The 111 hectare sanctuary is now fully enclosed with a 4.3km fox, rabbit and cat proof fence, and all such critters have already been chased out in a massive community drive. The
Posted by: Keith Bradby
So rewarding to surveying Monjebup’s bush
And you would be laughing too, if you’d just worked out that, per area, the patch of bush behind you was at least as rich in plant species as the Stirling Range and Fitzgerald River National Parks! Albany based botanist Libby Sandiford (pictured here with Bush Heritage ecologist Angela Sanders) has recently completed a major plant survey of Bush Heritage’s main Monjebup Reserve, recording ‘570 native taxa occurring in an
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wildlife enclosure at Yongergnow
A delightful afternoon with friends and colleagues of Gondwana Link at the launch of the Yongergnow Malleefowl Centre?s new Wildlife Enclosure. Pictured at the opening are, from the right, Yongergnow Board members Susanne Dennings, Ken Pech, Project manager Vicky Bilney, Board Member Jan Savage and Member for Wagin Terry Waldron MLA, who opened the Enclosure, which sits adjacent to the Malleefowl Centre on the edge of Ongerup townsite. Bush
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Balijup Farm predator proof fence
Construction has nearly completed on the 4.3km predator proof fence to create a 111 hectare conservation enclosure on Balijup Farm, in Gondwana Link?s Stirlings to Forest section. Once completed, and emptied of foxes and cats (now there?s a job!) the enclosure will immediately provide safer breeding habitat for a number of birds and then be used to build up numbers of mammals lost from the area ? a critical
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Wallaby Gates field day
A Wallaby Gates Field Day to promote the installation of ?Wallaby gates? into ringlock fencing. The gates, which are visible on the left side of the photo, allow Brush wallabies, a key conservation target species, to move across the landscape between bushland ?islands?. These gates make it possible to exclude Grey Kangaroos from areas while allowing access to wallabies. Well done to Green Skills, Gillamii Centre and Oyster
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Sandplains spectacular flowering
The good winter rains have resulted in spectacular flowering in the Great Western Woodland's southern sandplain heath. Verticordias, grevilleas, melaleucas, petrophiles, isopogons, stylidiums, calytrix and many more vied to be the most prolific. Nearby woodlands were full of birds and flowering eucalypts, while many orchids were flowering around the granite outcrops.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Old shed becomes new homes
Bush Heritage Australia?s Angela Sanders and Simon Smale are loading old wooden planks and corrugated iron ready for the Jerramungup Bush Rangers from Jerramungup High School to recreate reptile and small mammal habitat in the revegetated area at Yarrabee Wesfarmers Reserve. Yarrabee is in the Link?s Fitz-Stirling area, adjoining the east end of the Stirling Ranges.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Those marvellous megapodes
Those marvellous megapodes, the mallee fowl, are coming to the end of another breeding season, with nest mounds starting to have that 'emptied out' look.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Stunning Hibbertia found on private land
This quite stunning plant is Hibbertia selkii. Lucia Quearry from the Friends of the Porongurups groups reports that it was found by Tim Saggers, the Ranges Link fencing contractor, while fencing off bush in their section of the Link. It was an overcast day and the colours were luminous, which increased the excitement. Only a few plants were initially found so the group has raced around looking for more of
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A magnificent surprise!
Numbats are returning to Ravensthorpe. Heading back from Yallobup Creek at Jerdacuttup, Justin Jonson, Keith Bradby, Aaron Soanes (from CO2 Australia) and young Jack Robertson took a slight detour at Cocanarup, and were delighted when this young Numbat ran across the road, and then posed elegantly for 10 minutes. Turns out this is the offspring of translocated animals released into the area by DEC's Tony Friend. Congratulations Tony,
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Artificial hollows for Carnaby’s cockatoo
Birds Australia have been working hard with members of the Noongar community to establish new nest hollows for Carnaby’s Cockatoo. Dejan Stojanovic at bottom of ladder and Bradley Farmer dangling higher up are connecting one of the hollows to a large marri. Brad hung all of the hollows on Yarrabee and Peniup. These hollows were hung as part of a trial to look at the use of artificial hollows by the
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Honey Possum meets Honey!
This young honey possum is being given a drink of honey dissolved in water to send it on its way after being captured in a pitfall trap on Greening Australia?s Nowanup property. The energy boost will help it find shelter for the day as these animals are mainly nocturnal. The trapping was undertaken by Bush Heritage?s Angela Sanders as part of Nowanup School Week.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
Taking off in the New Year.
A female Carnaby?s Black-Cockatoo takes off from a Flame Grevillea at the (slowly regenerating) farmed areas of the Forrestania Research Plots. These were established in the 1960?s, with the aim of providing useful data on crop yields so that the extensive sandplains east of the Rabbit proof Fence could be opened up for farming. That plan didn?t proceed fortunately, and this Cockatoo belongs to one of the eastern most
Posted by: Keith Bradby
These cute animals can melt even the hardest heart!
Although it is called a Pygmy Possum, this little marsupial is not related to the larger possums. They have a prehensile tail for gripping branches and as well as eating insects and spiders, they also feed on nectar from many of our flowering plants in the area.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
How cute can a key conservation target get?
Black-gloved wallabies, are the second largest macropod in south-western Australia, but seem to have almost entirely escaped conservation attention or significant scientific scrutiny. Our work on the overall plan for the Fitz-Stirling section of the Link has identified them as a key conservation target, and with generous financial support from a key supporter, work is now underway to document their population levels and critical habitat needs. And not
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A delight to see
This echidna was seen in a sheoak (Allocasuarina) patch being a bit nosey about all the work underway in the Link?s Fitz-Stirling area. Though rarely seen, their fresh scratchings are quite common across the area, suggesting these delightful animals are surviving well. As they are a monotreme and therefore lay eggs, they are a great reminder of how special Australian wildlife is.
Posted by: Keith Bradby
A Rare and Endangered orchid
A Rare and Endangered orchid was found during Chereninup Creek Reserve launch day! Ongerup botanists Lynda Strahan and Sue Oborne discovered a population of the Sandplain sun-orchid, Caladenia bryceana subsp. bryceana, while walking the Chereninup property after the launch ceremony. They also turned up 14 other orchid species flowering that day. A wonderful example of the importance of this reserve and area, and of the deep local knowledge we can
Posted by: Keith Bradby