Rare Australian plants brought back from brink

On the Great Northern Highway in Western Australia lies the bewildering Ninghan Station. Its beautifully scenic landscape in Yalgoo was once rich in rare Australian flora, found nowhere else in the world.

After being almost completely degraded by about 25,000 sheep, 60 wild horses, and thousands of feral goats, the once flourishing landscapes turned bare and barren.

prickly-pear
David Green and his team spraying the invasive Prickly Pear weed.

But 2016 has brought hope and with it, “Ninghan’s wettest winter in around 15 years”, says Ninghan Station Owner, Don Bell.

Thanks to a generous rainy season, multiple threatened plant species as well as the native Australian countryside, against all odds, are coming back from the brink.

Janet Newell and Alanna Chant from The Department of Parks and Wildlife along with Aboriginal Ranger, David Green and NACC’s Aboriginal Participation Program Coordinator, Greg Burrows, made it their mission to monitor these threatened plants on Mount Singleton, also known as Nyingarn Badimaya (or echidna).

They were most interested in viewing three species of incredibly rare flora in the region. The Gibson Wattle (Acacia imitans), Nyingarn Wattle (Acacia unguicula) and Ninghan Violet (Hybanthus cymulosus) are all endemic to the region and found nowhere else.

It is becoming increasingly important to raise awareness about these plant species so people know what they look like and can avoid causing them damage.

Ninghan’s picturesque landscape faces many threats including feral animals and plant species, human activities and climate change.

Ninghan Station Owner, Don Bell, (80 years old) thinks individuals who don’t believe in climate change should come and spend a few years on his station. Don has witnessed the detrimental effects of global warming first hand over his entire lifetime and believes this is a big threat to our country’s landscape.

For more information on Ninghan Station visit: http://www.yalgoo.wa.gov.au/accommodation-ninghan-station.aspx.

Thanks to Greg for organising the trip, Janet and Alanna for their expert knowledge on native flora and Dave for his in depth knowledge on Aboriginal culture and heritage. A special thanks also goes to Don and Leah Bell for having us stay at their must-see Ninghan Station.

 

 

 

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