It's a good year to be a malleefowl Feral pigs targetted in aerial control Sam Stuart is Ranger of the Year Widespread rain has left a green landscape Five properties share in $130,000 in grants Bush food garden underway at Mt Ive Wicking bed workshops prove popular Science at work in the southern rangelands Grants awarded for new Kangaroo trials Your Landscape Levy is changing New Slender bell fruit populations found Group chairs meet with SAAL Board members Stickybeak at Secret Rocks Check before working on dams or waterways Ladies hear benefits of good land condition SAAL staff shared with Stirling North students The importance of ground-cover Wild Dog News

It's a good year to be a malleefowl

The discovery of 12 active mounds and sightings of three elusive malleefowl are evidence of a good year for the vulnerable bird.

A monitoring trip to the Gawler Ranges checked 141 mounds during November on the Gawler Ranges National Park and surrounding stations as part of the Bounceback and Beyond project.

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Feral pigs targetted in aerial control

An aerial control program undertaken in the State’s far north in November has removed more than 500 feral animals from properties in the Channel Country.

Six properties were involved in the control program which was a follow up to operations in December 2021 that controlled more than 700 feral animals in the area. The aerial control program was supported by skilled marksmen from the Department for Environment and Water.

Find out how many animals were controlled


Sam Stuart is Ranger of the Year

Congratulations to Sam Stuart, head ranger of the Arabana Ranger Program.  In November Sam was named the Ranger of the Year at the Indigenous Desert Alliance conference in the Northern Territory.

The board works closely with the Arabana Rangers on a number of programs, including the management of springs and waterways on Arabana country.

The program partners with Rangers on country to protect the springs of the Great Artesian Basin, as well as restoring landscapes through feral animal control and erosion control.

Well done Sam.


Widespread rain has left a green landscape

It’s been a long time since the landscape looked so green at this time of the year. There’s been plenty of rain and what’s more, it has been widespread.

Country in the North East Pastoral district that had missed out on earlier rain events was lucky enough to catch a drink in October. In fact, for that district, this recent spring was the wettest on record.

Nature Foundation's Witchelina Nature Reserve was ranked the second highest site in the country for above average rainfall in November. That particular site has reeived 360.2mm to early December, which is 238.4% of the annual mean. 

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Five properties share in $130,000 in grants

Projects to help pastoralists adapt their businesses to a changing climate have shared in more than $130,000 in the third round of Building Pastoral Sustainability Grants.

Work is underway on the projects that include trials for erosion control, controlled grazing, WiFi tags, EiD technology and slowing water run off.

Find out where the work will be taking place.


Bush food garden underway at Mt Ive

Native bush food expert Neville Bonney visited Mt Ive Station in December to help with the early development of the Gawler Ranges Educational Native Bush Food Garden.

Funded by an SA Arid Lands Grassroot Grant, the garden is designed to be a biodiverse space that offers connection between the land, native plants and the community.

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Wicking bed workshops prove popular

Residents of Andamooka, Coober Pedy and Iron Knob are far wiser about the use of wicking beds, the benefits of worms, how to undertake soil testing and best practice composting set ups following gardening workshops.

More than 70 people were able to get their hands dirty to learn how to fashion wicking beds from household products and community gardens in each of the towns are enjoying the spoils.

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Science at work in the southern rangelands

Pastoralists are trialling methods in rangeland monitoring and will connect with pastoralists across Australia in similar trials as part of a new program in the SA Arid Lands.

Land managers at Billa Kalina, Buckleboo, Mergenia, Mt Lyndhurst, Pine Grove and Wintinna will trial the effectiveness of different remote sensing technologies and tools to map and monitor ground cover and pasture growth.

Read more


Grants awarded for new Kangaroo trials

Three projects will share in almost $65,000 for trials to manage kangaroo overabundance.

The grants, offered by the Kangaroo Partnership Program, were available for trials and demonstrations, research and development, education and awareness raising and innovative ideas.

Funding was awarded to the Australian Wildlife Services for Increasing kangaroo value through quality, product diversity, reliability and branding; Kate Greenfield and collaborators for the South Australian Arid Rangelands Kangaroo Collective Pilot and to the Nature Conservation Society of South Australia for Kangaroo Management Raising Awareness Program.

Find out more about the three funded management programs 


Your Landscape Levy is changing

If you live in a council area, the way the Landscape Levy is charged across local government areas in the SA Arid Lands is changing – but the services you currently receive from your Landscape Board will continue.

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board has introduced a landscape levy equalisation process to ensure there is a consistent levy basis across council areas in the region.

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New Slender bell fruit populations found

New populations of Slender Bell Fruit, known as Alunga to the Adnyamathanha traditional owners, have been located on a recent field trip to the northern Flinders Ranges.

The find is an exciting one, given the species, which is also known as the Chinese lantern tree, is listed on the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act of 1999 as nationally vulnerable and as endangered in South Australia.

It is a target species of the Bounceback and Beyond project, which is delivered by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board (SAAL Board), through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

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Group chairs meet with SAAL Board members

Chairs or their representatives from each of the seven Landscape Groups within the SA Arid Lands region met with the board at its October meeting. 

The biannual catch up brings together the group chairs to learn from each other and share the opportunities and successes in each region. It is also a chance for Landscape Group Chairs to meet with the board to find out more about the work it is doing, funding opportunities, and gain a greater understanding of board activities and how groups play a key role in the informing and delivery of board priorities.

Landscape Group Chairs presented key issues identified in their district action plans to the board, as well as events in their regions which included wicking bed workshops, several well-attended Stickybeak Days, school-based activities, workshops and school holiday activities.


Stickybeak at Secret Rocks

Established exclusion zones to protect native plants and threatened animal species were on show at a Stickybeak Day at Secret Rocks in October.

Twenty visitors took the opportunity provided by the Gawler Ranges Landscape Group to see the benefits offered by the exclusion zones at the conservation property and how the property ensures the safety of reintroduced species.

Read what the attendees did on the day


Check before working on dams or waterways

After all the recent rain, it’s great to see waterways flowing regularly and many dams nearing capacity.

You may have noticed changes in different systems, maybe a flourish of green vegetation, the sounds of frogs or even the movement of fish. Regionally our waterways require these flows to maintain connectivity and ensure waterholes persist or lakes are filled.

Find out what you need to do


Ladies hear benefits of good land condition

Ask any of the ladies that attended the Soils Ladies Day what the benefits of perennial, palatable and productive species are – they will be able to tell you they are a sign of good land condition.

They heard from soil specialist Geoff Kew, environmental consultant Janet Walton and SAAL Regional Agriculture Landcare Facilitator Andrea Tschirner during the event, held at Narcoona Station in September.

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SAAL staff shared with Stirling North students

Two groups of Stirling North Primary School students joined SA Arid Lands Landscape Board staff for an excursion to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden recently. 

Jonas Dare welcomed the students to Barngarla Country and through explaining the reason for a Welcome to Country, the group became aware of the relationship of caring for the environment and respecting the land.

SAAL Field Officer Alice Smith and Port Augusta-Quorn Community Landscape Officer Brett Devitt led a walk and talk in the garden, where students learned about plant adaptions, animal interactions, and traditional uses.


The importance of ground-cover

If you ever wanted some science to support the fact that ground cover and healthy vegetation is so important, this should do it.

Soil surface temperature testing at Buckleboo in November recorded a huge range in soil temperatures in just a couple of metres.

Near the trunk of a Western Myall, the soil surface temperature was just 25C. This increased gradually under the shade of the tree before a marked difference was recorded outside its canopy.
So much so, the soil temperature just a couple of metres from the base of the tree was a whopping 61C at 10.30am when the ambient temperature was just 31C!

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