Community spirit restores nature in South Australia
The 54,000-hectare property is now home to 95 per cent of the word’s black-eared miners
Once operating for 120 years as a pastoral station, Gluepot Reserve is an international model of what can be achieved through the passion of volunteers and their commitment to biodiversity conservation and the sustainable use of the landscape.
BirdLife Australia purchased the 54,000-hectare property in 1997 after recognising the need to protect the area due to its significance as home to a diverse variety of nationally-threated flora and fauna. Since then, Gluepot has developed into Australia’s largest community managed and operated conservation reserve.
According to Gluepot Reserve chairman Duncan MacKenzie, the owners at the time were planning to burn significant areas of the property to increase grazing fodder.
“Agriculture and grazing are very important in order to feed us, but there needs to be a balance,” he said.
“Six threatened species of birds were at risk of losing their habitat from the burns. Something had to be done to prevent this.”
In just 10 weeks $300,000 was raised to purchase the property and BirdLife Australia became custodians of its first publicly-funded reserve.
Situated 64 kilometres from the Murray River in South Australia’s Riverland, the success of Gluepot Reserve comes down to the generosity and commitment of its volunteers. Thanks to their efforts, the reserve is now home to 22 nationally threated bird species, 53 reptile species and 12 bat species.
“We are proud to say that Gluepot Reserve is now home to 95 per cent of the world’s black-eared miners and we protect all biota or animal and plant life of the reserve,” Duncan said.
To find more about Gluepot Reserve, visit their Facebook page.