Gondwana Link

Forests

The forest zone is broadly defined by the 750mm rainfall isohyet and includes the tall karri, tingle, jarrah and marri forests. 

Vision 

In the high rainfall forest zone the focus is on achieving cross-tenure conservation management that protects species, ecosystems and landscapes in the long term. Work to achieve this also strengthens the capacity of local groups and improves the institutional arrangements which determine management of the forest ecosystem.

Natural values 

The forest zone includes the Warren IBRA region and the Southern Jarrah Forest IBRA subregion and many iconic forest conservation areas, such as the Walpole Wilderness Area and Shannon-D’Entrecasteaux National Park. The zone features WA’s tallest forests as well as more cryptic wonders such as the endemic white-bellied and sunset frogs. 

Much of this zone is within public land. Some areas are still being logged, as well as areas of improved pasture grazing and some plantation forests. 

Threats 

Horticultural use is increasing, a trend likely to continue. Urban and small holder expansion, although limited by the State Forests and reserved areas, is exerting pressure particularly around Margaret River and the southern coastal areas and is also expected to continue to increase as the Perth area becomes hotter, drier and less liveable in future.

The threats to the forest ecosystems of the south-western Australia include:

  • Climate change and decreasing winter rainfall;
  • Phytophthora dieback;
  • Fire and new strategies which are leading to excessive prescribed burning;
  • Recreation pressure from the population growth centres of Peth and Bunbury; 
  • Feral animals, pigs, foxes and cats pushing populations of endemic fauna to the brink; and
  • Logging which has severe impacts on fauna, including on the known habitat of very rare species. 

The Story so Far 

The Gondwana Link organisation has been too overstretched, to date, to give much focus on the forest areas. However, there are some very impressive local groups who, for many years, have done excellent work not only protecting the forest but projecting a more ecologically sustainable future for the area. These include Nature Conservation Margaret River, Warren Catchments Council and the WA Forest Alliance. We are currently working with the WA Forest Alliance to further develop and implement their ‘Forests for Life’ program, which aims to achieve some 40,000 ha of agroforestry – stabilising farmland and lessening sawlog pressure on native forests. 

Achievements 

The forest estate stretches from north of Denmark almost to the west coast.  It has taken decades of work by many dedicated conservation organisations and individuals and a series of wise decisions by government to achieve this.  That is the foundation we are looking to build on.  

Needs 

We need to shift the focus of forest management from sustainable timber production to ecological needs. 

Sub-regions

Augusta-Margaret River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.