SOUTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Project Description & Objective 

The southwest of Western Australia is an internationally recognized top 25 Biodiversity Hotspot. Plant species richness in this region are extraordinarily high, with greater than 50% endemism (found nowhere else on earth)!

Many of the species in this region also hail from prehistoric times as the region has been unglaciated for more than 250 Million years. This is significant in terms of evolution, with many species having evolved to persist in arid climates on ancient, highly weathered, infertile soil. The trees and shrubs here are true ‘Aussie battlers’ and are perhaps best equipped to persist in a hotter, drier, world. As great as they are, the region in which they grow has been historically over-cleared for the development of broad-acre agriculture, and now the remaining ecosystems are fragmented and in need of expansion and buffering to support their persistence and resilience into the future.

The goals of this project are to restore habitat, conserve biodiversity, and buffer/extend important wildlife corridors in a biodiversity hotspot. Through the re-establishment of species rich native vegetation, primarily alongside riparian areas, we will capture atmospheric carbon while supporting conservation. Working with the local community, we seek to undertake these works to preserve and restore the regions natural heritage and natural capital.

A key area of impact in this project is the buffer zone around Stirling Range National Park, which was devastated in the 2019/20 Black Summer bushfires.

Community Benefits 

This project will both employ and engage many people who live and work in the region. It begins with the landholders who provide land for planting, and in doing so seek to make positive change to conservation of biodiversity in their local landscape.

The project will also create jobs and income for many members of local businesses, and operators within the local restoration economy. From seed pickers and tree nursery growers, to mechanical engineers and restoration field crews, good people will be employed in right livelihood. Local farmer and natural resource management groups will also be inspired and engaged through field visits outreach.

The local Indigenous community – the Noongar People – will also be involved in the reforestation process from an early stage, with opportunity to be more deeply involved as additional funding is secured. These works will also benefit the wider community of Western Australia and beyond, bringing world class restoration practice to our collective global restoration effort.

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Planting Region & Country

The Great Southern Region of Western Australia. Planting will take place across several farms located in the Frankland, Gordon and Pallinup Catchment areas.

Number of Trees

500,000 to plant  

Key Impact Areas

Forest Fire Restoration - Social Community Impact -Climate Stability - Bio Diversity/Habitats - Watershed/Riparian Restoration

Ecological Benefits 

Over the last 10 years, our partner has operated under the continuous improvement model, developing a model of reforestation based on the principles of ecological restoration. They seed and plant native vegetation, but the outcomes are much more than that.

Through the careful selection of tree and shrub species, in combination with advanced restoration design and implementation approaches, they restore habitat which is quickly occupied by local fauna.

Ecological monitoring of recent project areas indicates birds species diversity and abundance exceeded that observed in reference ecosystems with 5 years of planting. While we cannot predict exactly which species will return, we can anticipate with good faith that this project will directly support the threatened and endangered Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo, an iconic bird species found only here in the southwest of Western Australia. We specifically plant trees and small bushes that produce the very seeds known to be food sources for these iconic birds. The flowers produced from the planted trees and shrubs will also likely provide nectar for additional charismatic endemics, including the Southwestern Pygmy Possum and equally tiny Honey Possums.

As for the conservation of native flora, our species mixes are often in excess of 100 species, and showcase many of the locally rare and threatened trees and plants, including those from the Banksia and Hakea genera (which the nectivorous birds and mammals love to visit). Through the reforestation of these cleared lands, these works will improve the connectivity and ecological permeability of these landscapes and make a positive contribution to the conservation of local biodiversity.

Type of Trees

Acacia acuminata, Acacia assimilis ssp atroviridis, Acacia consobrina, Acacia cupularis, Acacia cyclops, Acacia declinata, Acacia dictyoneura, Acacia glaucoptera, Acacia harveyi, Acacia lasiocalyx, Acacia myrtifolia, Acacia patagiata, Acacia pulchella goadbyi, Acacia redolens, Acacia saligna, Acacia sphacelata, Agonis theiformis, Allocasuarina huegeliana, Allocasuarina humilis, Allocasuarina lehmanniana, Banksia attenuata, Banksia caleyi, Banksia grandis, Banksia littoralis, Banksia mucronulata, Callistemon phoeniceus, Callitris pyramidalis, Calothamnus affinis, Calothamnus quadrifidus, Calothamnus sanguineus, Casuarina obesa, Corymbia calophylla, Dryandra sessilis, Eucalyptus annulata, Eucalyptus astringens, Eucalyptus ecostata, Eucalyptus flocktoniae, Eucalyptus incrassata, Eucalyptus longicornis, + many more...