Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia unite to champion world-class restoration in WA

Tens of thousands of seeds and seedlings are already in the ground at Ediegarrup, transforming this landscape into rich, biodiverse habitat.

An ambitious project, jointly managed by Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia, will help wildlife move across a globally recognised biodiversity hotspot by restoring a critical piece of habitat between the Fitzgerald River and the Stirling Range National Parks in southern Western Australia.

The project aims to restore 600 hectares of biodiverse habitat at Ediegarrup Reserve on Goreng Noongar Country by planting 150 species of native trees and shrubs over three years, which will provide habitat for threatened species such as Ngoolark (Carnaby’s Black Cockatoo) and Gnow (Malleefowl).

Planting is already underway with 22,000 seedlings planted in 2023 and a further 61,000 seedlings planted in 2024. To date, over 200kg of local provenance native seed has also been sown by Greening Australia using direct seeding machines and tractors, representing many hundreds of thousands of seeds currently germinating and establishing across the landscape.

The world-class approach of this project is underpinned by high-integrity third party standards and reporting frameworks which will enable the actual impact of restoration efforts on environmental condition, biodiversity outcomes and carbon sequestration to be measured and communicated over time. These include standards and reporting set by Accounting for Nature (AfN), the Clean Energy Regulator (CER) for the generation of Australian Carbon Credit Units (ACCUs), and the Society of Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA).

Restoration at Ediegarrup will create a wildlife corridor for native species moving between the Fitzgerald River and the Stirling Range National Parks.

“Located in an extraordinarily culturally significant and biodiverse region that has over 1,500 endemic species of plants but that has lost more than 70 per cent of its original habitat, this project sets a high standard for national and international carbon sequestration and restoration efforts,” said Alex Hams, Bush Heritage’s Healthy Landscape Manager.

“A typical carbon reforestation project will only plant a limited number of tree species. So, what we’re doing is not just good for the climate but also ‘good for nature’.”

“In addition to the vast array of seedlings that will grow to provide critical habitat for nationally threatened species, we’ll install rock and log structures to increase the complexity of the habitat early on and encourage the return of small ground dwelling animals.”

Greening Australia’s Director of Impact Blair Parsons said Australia needs projects like Ediegarrup on a massive scale to make genuine headway on the challenge of rebuilding nature, addressing climate change, and turning the tide on the biodiversity crisis.

“We need to come together and think differently if we are to tackle a rapidly warming climate and chronic biodiversity loss. Our approach at Ediegarrup exemplifies what is needed to achieve the urgent impact required via restoration,” said Dr Parsons.

“We’re striving to build high-end restoration in an ecologically strategic location and make use of multiple environmental markets to support this work. Together, we’re going above and beyond in terms of design, implementation and experimental trials that aim to enhance the quality of habitats being established. Fundamental to this is tracking and demonstrating the biodiversity outcomes of the planting as well as carbon outcomes.” 

Planting began in 2023, with local Nowanup Rangers and Badgebup Aboriginal Rangers working alongside Greening Australia and Bush Heritage to restore the 600 hectare property.

The project team has carefully matched vegetation communities with historic and contemporary onground data, cultural heritage, soil types and future climate projections to commence the complex process of restoring the property towards its precleared state and ensuring that the habitat is resilient to a changing climate. Importantly, the team is also drawing on the substantial knowledge base that has been built up in the Gondwana Link region after decades of collective restoration effort.

Local Nowanup Rangers and Badgebup Aboriginal Rangers have been working alongside the Bush Heritage and Greening Australia teams to plant seedlings, which include species of bush foods found in the local area.

“It’s been a wonderful journey to be a part of as the Noongar people, who were the first people connected to country,” said Eugene Eades, Goreng Noongar Elder.

“I think it’s great that we can bring our younger generation of people back on the country and teach them about cultural practices. Have them participate in the seed collecting, and germination of seeds, species of plant life. And then of course, learn more about the Noongar food, fruit, medicinal plants that need to be protected, as well”.

This partnership between Bush Heritage Australia and Greening Australia sets a new benchmark for restoration efforts at scale and showcases the value of collaboration by leaders in the environmental sector. By restoring vital habitat and protecting endangered species whilst sequestering carbon through a scalable market-based solution, this project is a significant step towards conserving Australia’s unique biodiversity for future generations.

Restoration at Ediegarrup to date has been funded by AstraZeneca’s partnership with Greening Australia, as part of AstraZeneca’s global AZ Forest initiative supported by One Tree Planted.

Want to get news like this delivered straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our news.

Share this article