Land for wildlife

Submitted: Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 16:18
ThreadID: 103848 Views:2209 Replies:8 FollowUps:20
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My dream is to buy 100-1000 hectares and return to wildlife. Unfortunately although I live in N.T I can't afford land here as it is all stations and aboriginal land. The more remote the better- love deserts. At a stretch might be able to get a deposit together for a $100,000 loan. Would love something near a national park with rocky outcrops...
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Reply By: steamfire01 - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 16:31

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 16:31
Jane;
An interesting concept.
When you say "return to wildlife" do you mean rehabilitating the land in some way and then restocking with native animals, including fencing out ferals?

Or do you maybe mean buying the land and just watching the wildlife already there including the ferals.

Maybe you need some advice regarding what you are actually taking on - beware of land that may have feral animal overload, or worse still, infestation of introduced weeds and plants - you may have to pay dearly to eradicate them.

Good luck with your dream.

Stay safe out there
TJ
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 18:13

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 18:13
G'day TJ,
We have successfully had some funding to help with weed control & there are lots of organizations around that can help out too.
Not an insurmountable problem.

All under control at both our Trust for Nature covenanted properties.

Cheers
Stu
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Reply By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 18:08

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 18:08
G'day Jane,
My wife & I have done just that in the West Wimmera. 1,600 acres with a National park on the East & South boundary fences.
Has a Trust for Nature covenant on it.
Trust for Nature

Revegetated 13 years ago by prior owner & was told it would be 25 years until we got Mallee fowl to return but in the past 2 years 2 birds have returned & nested successfully. Wildflowers galore in Spring & counted 12 species of orchids last year. One bonus is we can camp where we like & have the place to ourselves in busy holiday periods.

It's a great feeling to leave the kids something like this instead of material things.

Cheers
Stu
AnswerID: 516528

Reply By: Rod W - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 20:55

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 20:55
I hope your dream comes to fruition Jane. Here in WA the owner of Enniun station has done just that in that the station has been de-stocked and turned into "Land for Wildlife Voluntary Nature Reserve" and is registered with the Department of Environment and Conservation. The station is not only very pretty it is also the place where gold was first discovery in WA.
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Reply By: Member - bungarra (WA) - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 21:20

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 21:20
Hi Jane

Your dream is commendable and I think it is a wonderful concept but fraught with issues of supervision, protective fencing, ongoing management costs etc. that will blow out particularly if you are using loan funds for a purchase...

Potential neighbour issues if your concept and whatever chooses to populate or repopulate your piece of turf become an issue with adjoining landholders...(dingoes, kangaroos etc.)

Might I suggest looking at this link below. This is a serious, professional and very successful not for profit organisation that is doing exactly what your concept is but on a significant scale.....look at the ratio of funds used on admin etc. as against spent "on the ground"...very impressive.

http://www.australianwildlife.org/

They have some properties up your way and welcome visitors/ volunteers/donations et. Your energies and passion may be channelled into something like this for a huge personal reward without a financial drain and a management nightmare if funds are limited (which from your post appear to be)

I have visited a couple of their sanctuaries and am registered as a volunteer but sadly time has yet permit me to go back...but I will be......no affiliation whatsoever but a huge fan of what they achieved to date.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 21:55

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 21:55
G'day,

Yes there are some hurdles but since we started doing this some 30 years ago & working full time to pay for it. It IS possible.
There is quite a network of resources & people you meet along the way that can help out.
We bought our second property to conserve Australian native Flora & fauna just 3 years ago & have already a huge network of new friends that all help each other out.
Even having a National Park on 2 boundaries has it's issues with fire management & feral animal control but at the end of each day we can sleep well knowing we are doing our bit for Australia's unique habitats & wildlife.
Certainly the Australian Wildlife Conservancy have their place as well as do many organisations. I commend anyone that does something to support looking after our special places.
We cannot rely on governments to do this & I believe it is up to individuals to do what they can no matter how small the contribution.

Cheers
Stu
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Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:09

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:09
Hi Jane.
There is a big station for sale at Meecatharra. Around 500k.Not sure how big. Trouble is being lease hold i think the govt requires certain stocking rates etc but may be possible to get around that these days.

cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:16

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:16
Hi Jane.
Actually Mt Magnet 63,000 hectares 575k pastrol station.

cheers Graeme.
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Follow Up By: Jane Brittain - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:26

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 22:26
Thanks so much everyone. Unfortunately I do have the funds for a $500,000 property! It would be nice not to have to do eradication stuff - I'd love to buy something remote. Obviously I'm an animal lover and vegetarian too. Anyway I welcome all your suggestions.
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Follow Up By: steamfire01 - Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 23:09

Friday, Aug 16, 2013 at 23:09
Jane
Would that be all animals irrespective of type and origin?
Regards
TJ
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 07:32

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 07:32
G'day Jane,
Having feral animal control as part of the management plan of such a property has to be a priority.
The 2 reasons that many of our small to mid range species are in trouble is habitat loss & predation or competition from animals that do not belong here.
All the best with your decision.
Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 09:48

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 09:48
Animal lover and vegitarian....oh dear.

So do you recon you have the stomach to shoot, bunnies, kittens, puppies, horsies, foxes and all sorts of other very cute fuzzy introduced feral pests.

Then these is the very expensive matter of weed control.

NOW..if the particular piece of land does not have any of those problems.....well it hardly requires saving now does it.

We have all sorts of people labouring under the "Pristine Country" idea...well there ain't very much of it.

Nice idea but I hope you have deep pockets and a stomach for violence.

cheers
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 10:52

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 10:52
G'day Bantam,
Well put. Probably not quite how I would put it but it is a cold hard fact that it HAS to be done.
I don't enjoy killing feral animals but it's part of managing a property for our NATIVE wildlife. If I did not control feral cats & foxes there is no way the Mallee Fowl or Lyrebirds would thrive on our 2 TFN properties.
Camping with these guys nearby is an absolute delight. Nothing better than being woken up at 6.00am by Lyrebird calls or spending time watching a Mallee Fowl attend to the mound.
Beats watching TV any time!

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Member - Terra'Mer - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:17

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:17
Hi Jane,

Depending on where you buy land you might be able to introduce dingos to help control ferals.

In some regions where the dingo population has been wiped out, eg, alps, there are breeding programmes to re-introduce dingo families and they are finding them to be very effective feral control and populations of vulnerable species increasing as feral numbers decrease without culling.
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Follow Up By: steamfire01 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:43

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:43
What a splendid idea.......NOT
Let's make the poacher the gamekeeper....
or better still let the lunatics run the asylum!

Re your startling news that, in the alps " there are breeding programmes to re-introduce dingo families and they are finding them to be very effective feral control and populations of vulnerable species increasing as feral numbers decrease without culling" can you tell me where this is occurring and who "they" are.

The thought that dingoes could be reintroduced in areas with "populations of vulnerable species" is absurd in the extreme.

Thanks
Regards
TJ
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:54

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:54
Gday Terra Mer
I certainly wont put it like TJ!
There is a long history in Australia of introducing species to control other invasive species & it sometimes ends up creating even more problems.
There are approved ways of keeping feral animals under control that do work. Of course we all have money constraints & proven methods offer a cost effective, humane way of disposing of feral pests.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 18:12

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 18:12
Yes the dingo, Australia's first introduced ferral pest....and when it interbreeds with domestic dogs, it produces the wild dog that ravages both native animals and domestic livestock and far more distructive rate than the "pure bread" dingo.

Yep and the most humane method of controlling feral pests is a sharp eye and a steady aim....a clean kill shot, sure beats almost every other method of control.

cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Terra'Mer - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 01:47

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 01:47
Re: dingo

If you phone the national park and ask to speak to the officer monitoring the dingo programme or the contact for the breeders you might be pleasantly surprised by new evidence.

You could also do a search on scientific papers looking into the validity of returning dingos to bushland.

For some lighter reading Australian Geographic has had stories about it recently too.

The dingo has been here for anywhere up to 18,000yrs, depending on when they were first introduced from China to the land and aboriginal groups. The dingos returning to parks are pure blood and well monitored.

(I don't think there is any evidence dating dingos back as far as the first humans on this land or earlier which might turn out to be pre-glacial so they will never be classified as native but pure blood dingos don't behave like domestic, farm, feral or dingo cross dogs)

I'm not an expert but I have spoken with a few people who are including breeders and officers collecting data from the monitoring programme.

I had trouble believing it at first myself, having grown up being told dingos are a pest and learning about the dingo fence in school but it looks like we might have been a bit wrong about purebred dingos.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 08:03

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 08:03
Re: Dingo
I have mixed feeling about the Dingo. They do breed with domestic dogs which creates all sorts of problems keeping them pure bred in the bush.
As for using them as a tool to control feral animals. They may eat a few bunnies but they are no good to control Goats, pigs, foxes & cats to name a few. In fact they would probably predate on the few smaller marsupials we are also trying to protect as do the foxes & cats.
I will stick my current control methods for now as they seem to be quite successful.
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Reply By: Member - Terra'Mer - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:07

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:07
It is a fantastic idea and great that so many people are doing this type of thing.

Rather than buy "land for wildlife" of my own I have donated to non-profits who purchase the land through their organisations. I can't give much but my contribution helps them achieve the same as I would want to do myself if I had the resources.

I have not donated to any desert groups so I don't know of any links you may be interested in.
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Follow Up By: Jane Brittain - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:48

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 15:48
Hi
Thanks for all your ideas. I agree weed eradication is important - around here buffel is a big problem. I do want a patch for pets as well - camels, donkeys, dogs, cattle. I just want somewhere quiet to watch the birds, animals etc..Yeh dingos are a favourite - I think I could deal with natural pest control. I read in Australian Geographic that Channel country is great for wildlife but I just can't find anything under 1 million.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:01

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:01
G'day Jane,
Cattle, Donkeys & Camels are hard hoofed animals & they are VERY destructive to our fragile soils.
These animals are not allowed on conservation covenanted properties & you need some very good fencing to contain them.
While your heart is in the right place (sort of) you need to investigate the best ways to look after & care for a property that is going to be a sanctuary for our native animals.
It seems from your comments you need a hobby farm instead.

Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Jane Brittain - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:05

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:05
Don't worry I am talking about pets contained in a home paddock. On a large property this shouldn't be too much of a problem. i am not talking about big mobs.
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Follow Up By: Bushranger1 - Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:09

Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 at 16:09
G'day Terra Mer,
You would be surprised at the number of private individuals that are doing this.
The only problem is that its the older generations that have the money & time to do this. We are always trying to involve younger people but they seem to want to dispose of their income in other ways.
Like I said in an earlier post one side benefit we never thought of is that we have our own campgrounds & we only invite people that we like. Best of all, NO generators allowed!
Cheers
Stu
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Follow Up By: Lyn W3 - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 09:43

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 09:43
Jane,

I think you need to take a long hard look at your goals, on one hand you say you want 100-1000ha and return it to nature and in subsequent posts you state that "I do want a patch for pets as well - camels, donkeys, dogs, cattle." All considered ferals under your broad concept of a wilderness. I therefore presume you will be living there or have a management team to oversea the project.

Just wondering what background you have in rural land management?
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Reply By: Member - wicket - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 15:27

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 15:27
here you go, just what the doctor ordered, 474 acres for $160k in good old SA near Truro ,so you're not even remote

http://www.realestate.com.au/property-lifestyle-sa-truro-7566435
AnswerID: 516629

Reply By: Echucan Bob - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 16:18

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 16:18
Jane,

I had a property adjoining a national park in NSW, the idea being to help extend a wooded corridor through to the coast. I found that I was unable to spend the time needed for basic upkeep. But it was great to visit.

What I do, however, is contribute to Bush Heritage Australia who buy up marginal properties and rehabilitate them by destocking and feral eradication. They are able to afford big enough properties to make a worthwhile change. They are similar to the Australian Wildlife Conservancy mentioned above.

There are properties all over Australia, and they continue to acquire them. They plan to own 1% of Australia by 2025! I have visited several - contributors are always welcomed. I am visiting Naree to the north west of Bourke NSW in a couple of weeks.

I donate a fixed amount every month, but you can make bequests. I annoy friends and relatives (who mostly have everything they need already) by giving them trees, or a few hundred acres of bush instead of crap presents for Xmas, birthdays etc.

If you love deserts then you will love Cravens Peak and Ethabuka on the eastern edge of the Simpson. You'll see things there that you'll never forget.

Bob
AnswerID: 516631

Follow Up By: Jane Brittain - Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 21:42

Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 21:42
Wicket I'm afraid remote is what I like, Truro is way too tame. I live in TennantCreek BTW. Still don't know what is wrong with a few pets properly fenced off. Echucan Bob Naree sounds good, I'm interested in that whole central region. I would love to go to the Simpson.
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