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Protection for endangered Wheatbelt flora

Wednesday, 9th June 2010

A Wheatbelt farming couple has made a discovery of at least 10 rare and endangered plants on their property south west of Dowerin.

Rob and Beth Boase said they found the flora on 250 hectares of Banksia woodland surrounding a natural saline seep or wetland, considered the only one of its kind left in the state.

“We have found at least eight endangered and two rare plants, not to mention water birds like the Australian Spotted Crake, not seen this far inland before,” Rob Boase said.

“Because of land clearing and the introduction of weeds and sheep, species like the one sided bottle brush or Calothamnus Brevifolius found here, have been placed on the endangered list.”

The couple owns a native tree nursery, and has taken measures to protect the bush land that exists on their property.

“With our background, we saw the value of this wetland, and wanted to protect the rare and endangered flora that rely on it,” Rob Boase said.

The couple has now decided to place a voluntary conservation covenant on the land.

This has been negotiated with the help of natural resource group Wheatbelt NRM, WWF – Australia and Greening Australia through the Healthy Bushland project, funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program.

Rob Boase said the covenant would help protect the threatened ecological community.

“We weren’t worried about a convenant being placed on our property, because it wouldn’t affect our farming land,” Rob Boase said.

“We also think that in the future it could help to increase the value of the land, because of the small amount of remnant vegetation left in the Wheatbelt.”

WWF – Australia’s Phil Lewis said the number of private landholders wanting to enter into voluntary conservation covenants was increasing.

He said he hoped Rob and Beth Boase’s discovery would inspire other people with significant areas of natural bush to investigate the idea of a covenant.

People interested in conservation covenants can contact Phil Lewis on 9681 1152 or Mike Griffiths on 9690 2250.

Media contact: Phil Lewis, WWF – Australia, 9681 1152 or 0437 971 344 or
Rob Boase, Dowerin, 9634 1047