Region-wide field day a resounding success Getting on top of a pig issue We have moved! Widespread rainfall warmly welcomed New push to tackle North East cactus Buckleboo Station in the spotlight Landscape Groups plan for local activities Coordinator appointed for kangaroo partnership Semi-arid rangelands the focus of survey Rains a boost for Coongie flora and fauna Accounting for groundwater Spotted gudgeon fly to a new home Town team takes Coober Pedy cricket crown Speak up for your community Dog fence update

Region-wide field day a resounding success

It was a case of third-time lucky when the inaugural SA Arid Lands Pastoral Field Day was held on 2-3 December.

Twice postponed due to COVID, the event attracted more than 300 people from across the region, keen to hear about pastoral related topics.  There were 18 different speaker sessions across the two days with themes ranging from animal health and nutrition, to understanding rangelands soils, holistic land management, diversification options and transition planning for the family business.

Read more and Watch a short wrap up of the Field Day to see what people enjoyed about the event


Getting on top of a pig issue

A record number of feral pigs were culled in the Far North Channel Country through an aerial operation funded through the Coongie Wetland Wonders project, and delivered by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board.

It’s the largest number of pigs the board has controlled, and has highlighted the scale of the problem across some areas of the region.

Feral pigs are a threat to threatened and endangered species and also pose biosecurity risk to both livestock and humans as a carrier of diseases such as Brucellosis, Q fever and Melioidosis. 

Read more


We have moved!

The SA Arid Lands Landscape Board has a new home in the historic Port Augusta Court House.

The board’s new office, at 1 Jervois Street in Port Augusta, faces Gladstone Square and has street frontage on Beauchamp Lane.

Built in the 1880s, the beautifully crafted building offers the board a larger premises to work from, and is centrally located in Port Augusta. The board was previously housed at the Railway Station, where it had been located since August 2007.

Work started on bringing the building back to life in May this year. It has been transformed to reinstate its heritage values while also incorporating state-of-the-art technology suitable for an office environment.


Widespread rainfall warmly welcomed

Widespread rainfall across the SA Arid Lands was the talk across social media channels in November and put smiles on the faces of many land managers.

While all parts of the region received rain, the biggest falls were recorded in parts of the North East Pastoral, Kingoonya, North Flinders and Gawler Ranges districts.

At Mulyungarie Station, the downpour was a first for six year old Wyatt and 13-year-old Maggie was unable to get home to her dad. 

Read more


New push to tackle North East cactus

The biocontrol insect cochineal has been released on populations of wheel and rope cactus in the North East Pastoral District, to assist land managers tackle the declared weed species. 

It’s not the first time the sap-sucking cochineal has been used to tackle cactus in the North East, but with the SAAL board now breeding cochineal strains specific to cactus types, the odds of effectively controlling cactus have greatly increased.

A number of properties in the south-western area of the district had cochineal delivered in October from the board’s Cochineal breeding nursery in Port Augusta.  The cochineal-infested cactus pads were placed in cactus populations where, overtime, the insect will breed to levels that kill the cactus. The October release is in time for the hot weather which sees the insect actively breeding and growing its population.

Could cochineal be the best option for your property? 


Buckleboo Station in the spotlight

To adapt to climate challenges, Buckleboo in the Gawler Ranges is strengthening its business practices to maintain its viability through the challenging dry seasons.

Owned by Paroo Pastoral, business development manager James Wright and property manager James Kerr took part in the board’s Property Management Planning program, part of its four year Building Pastoral Sustainability project.

See the changes they are making, the results they are already seeing in groundcover growth, and how the board’s Property Management Plan has helped them on their journey.


Landscape Groups plan for local activities

Landscape Groups across the region took part in District Action Planning during October and November, setting local priorities for landscape management and planning group activities for coming years.

All plans being developed identify the key issues and opportunities for each district, priority actions for the group, and show how the group’s work aligns and contributes to the strategic priorities for the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, as outlined in the board's Regional Landscape Plan.

Read more


Coordinator appointed for kangaroo partnership

A partnership to manage over abundant kangaroos in the landscape is underway, with the announcement of a coordinator to lead the project.

Sevenseas Creative, with Georgina Shirley as the Kangaroo Partnership Coordinator, has been announced as the successful independent facilitator for the Optimising Kangaroo Management in South Australia project. 

Georgina started work on the project in November, with the first meeting of the partnership group members held later that month. 

Read more


Semi-arid rangelands the focus of survey

Understanding the social drivers towards wildlife management decisions are critical for land managers and often pose challenges relating to ecological, social, cultural and economic issues.

A survey being undertaken by Bush Heritage and RMIT University is looking to investigate the attitudes of residents across the arid rangelands.

Read more.


Rains a boost for Coongie flora and fauna

The first good rains at Coongie Lakes near Innamincka in a number of years have resulted in the early recovery of Acacia salicina, Eura Emubush, Plumbush and Bean trees around many waterholes in the Coongie Lakes Ramsar area.

SA Arid Lands Landscape Board staff returned to the area in late October to monitor areas that had been previously recorded as part of the Coongie Wetland Wonders project and were thrilled to see the regeneration of key perennial shrubs and good leaf cover.

Read more.


Accounting for groundwater

A Water Accounting Advisory Group has met for the first time to review and identify potential groundwater accounting options suitable for the Far North Prescribed Wells Area.

Comprised of pastoralists and property managers, board members and staff from the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board and Department for Environment and Water (DEW), the group will meet regularly to investigate water accounting options.

Read more


Spotted gudgeon fly to a new home

A small, spotted fish has settled into its new home in the Flinders Ranges.

Six hundred of the threatened Purple-spotted gudgeon (Mogurnda clivicola) were released at new sites in the Flinders Ranges early this year to double the number of known population sites, reducing its risk of extinction.

Watch how the translocation occurred, the role of Adnyamathanha people as traditional owners, and why the translocation was needed.


Town team takes Coober Pedy cricket crown

A Cricket and Conversations event organised by the Marla Oodnadatta Landscape Group brought education and entertainment to Coober Pedy.

Workshop topics included the social licence of rangelands beef delivered by Milly Nolan from the Livestock Collective, Holistic Agriculture delivered by Nic Kentish from RCS Australia and Building Drought Resilience delivered by Tony Randall of the SA Drought Hub. The Walkover Weighing System in use at Lyndalvale Cattle Co was also shared. in a pre-recorded conversation with Bennett Staines. 

The workshop was followed by a Town versus Stations cricket match at the Oz Minerals Oval in Coober Pedy, with the crown going to the Town team this year.

This event was supported by the SA Arid Lands Landscape Board, through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program. 


Speak up for your community

The annual Regional Wellbeing Survey is again open and residents in outback SA are encouraged to have a say.

This year’s survey will focus on understanding how the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting people and communities, on the shift to regions and on resilience to the cumulative effects of experiencing multiple events such as drought, storm and pandemic within a short space of time.

You can complete the survey at  Paper surveys are available by calling 1800 981 499.

The survey is confidential and anonymous and closes at midnight on Friday 14 January.

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