Living on the edge (of the clearing line)

At the end of the ‘clearing line’ – the boundary between the extensive remaining native vegetation of the inland rangelands and the more extensively-cleared agricultural zone – and sharing a boundary with Lake Moore, Bininninga Farms is a broadarce farm full of life.

Grant and Stacey Hudson have been farming at Bininninga Farms, near Kalannie, since 1997, where they recently fenced-off more than 300 hectares of remnant vegetation along the edge of the salt lake system.

Wildlife abounds on the property, with numerous bird species, reptiles, and native mammals often seen. The often elusive Malleefowl is also present on the farm, with the nearby Goodlands Nature Reserve providing additional habitat for the birds to forage and breed. Unfortunately there is also an ever present threat of feral predators – especially foxes and feral cats – in the area.

While Grant has seen relatively few foxes in the area during the past eight years, he has noticed an increase in the number of feral cats – with many seen around the homestead, especially during harvest.

“Feral dogs are also an issue,” he said. “But trapping and baiting has seen their numbers controlled.

“Emus can also be nuisance, especially when they get into the crops, but as long as they stay in the bushland, we are happy to share the landscape with them.”

The Hudson Family also supply local Kalannie business Kochii Eucalyptus Oil with material for their oils. Kochii Eucalyptus Oil is produced exclusively from plantations of Eucalyptus kochii, grown in the Central Wheatbelt area of WA – and only Eucalyptus kochii trees that have been planted are harvested for oil production.

NACC Biodiversity Coordinator Jessica Stingemore visited the property recently to inspect the completed fencing. She said that while they were often overlooked due to not being arable farming land, salt lakes and other naturally saline systems were still valuable features of our landscape.

“Although they may appear barren, many are actually rich ecosystems which incorporate unique flora species and provide specialised habitat for animals including reptiles, mammals, birds, and invertebrates.”

 

This project is supported by the Northern Agricultural Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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