Meningie, South Australia (Ngarrindjeri Country)
Coorong Lakes is located south of Meningie in South Australia, at the south-east edge of the extensive Coorong Lakes system. The reserve is owned and managed by Cassinia Environmental as a conservation reserve in partnership with the Ngarrindjeri people. Coorong Lakes compliments the important wetland systems of Lake Alexandrina, Lake Albert, and the Coorong Lagoons. It is here that the mighty Murray River empties into the ocean.
The Coorong is one of Australia’s most important wetland areas, designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands in 1985. Wilderlands is proud to be adding greater protection to this important area by offering the Coorong Lakes project.
The diversity of ecosystems at Coorong Lakes makes a significant contribution to the importance of this area. Rising above low-lying saline wetland communities of saltbush and paperbark shrublands are sandy dune systems of mallee and heathy woodlands, host to a rich diversity of native plants and animals, including the rare Cleland’s Beard-heath (Leucopogon clelandii) and the rare and elusive Elegant Parrot (Neophema elegans).
The Wilderlands project at Coorong Lakes provides permanent protection and on-going management to enhance the native wildlife, complementing adjoining and nearby reserves including Mount Sandy Reserve.
Congregating in huge colonies of thousands of birds to breed at inland lakes, the Banded Stilt is more commonly observed in smaller parties across shallow lakes and wetlands. The saline lakes of the Coorong provide ideal feeding habitat.
A somewhat secretive parrot, the Elegant Parrot feeds on the ground mainly on grass seeds. Pairs or small flocks will fly high between suitable feeding sites.
An expert in camouflage, Latham's Snipe can readily 'disappear' in tall grass. A long-distant migrant, birds arrive in Australia after breeding in Japan.
Heard more often than seen, Lewin's Rail has suffered from wetland habitat destruction and fragmentation. The West Australian subspecies has already become extinct.
Feeding on flowering mallees across dry woodlands of southern Australia, the Purple-gaped Honeyeater is uncommon in South Australia. The thin, purple gape is difficult to see without binoculars!
Shy and quite skittish, the Spotless Crake is found at wetland fringes and marshlands, never far from dense vegetation. This bird has striking, deep red eyes.
Home to mountainous vistas, tall trees, and fern-rich gullies, lies Crowes Lookout, only 170 kilometres south-west of Melbourne near the scenic town of Lavers Hill in the Otway Ranges. Crowes Lookout is characterised by towering trees of Mountain Grey-gum (Eucalyptus cypellocarpa), Southern Blue-gum (Eucalyptus globulus), and Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua), reaching over 60 metres tall and providing an arboreal ecosystem of micro-bats, gliders, and birds.
In the heart of the Victorian Riverina, one of the most productive areas of agriculture in Australia and only 250 kilometres north of Melbourne, lies Budgerum, a farming district of flat, grassy plains alongside the Avoca River. Grassland communities are some of the most highly threatened ecosystems on the planet, with grassland reserves being reduced to small, fragmented patches across the landscape as land has been converted to agriculture. For this reason, protection of the remaining native grasslands across the Victorian Riverina is critical to the long-term survival of species that call this community their home. Examples of species dependent on these grassy ecosystems include the critically endangered Plains Wanderer and the nationally endangered Turnip Copperburr.