Ecological monitoring on established reserves

Edgbaston Reserve, Bush Heritage Australia, Central Queensland 

Typically when new reserves are acquired and established, it is important to undertake a detailed assessment and description of the key values to establish a baseline picture against which future management can be measured. This project involved the reassessment of a network of monitoring sites established in 2009 on an extremely significant reserve acquired by Bush Heritage to protect Australia’s most significant complex of Great Artesian Basin springs – loaded with endemic organisms including one of the world’s rarest fish – Red-fin Blue-eye – and many other recently discovered and undescribed species. The work involved detailed vegetation and soil health survey across the range of the remote central Queensland reserve’s habitats as well as fine-scale census of some of the world’s rarest aquatic plants –  known only from a handful of ecologically sensitive desert mound-springs. The results will form part of a key milestone report designed to inform key Bush Heritage investors of improvements under their conservation stewardship.