Eaglehawk Waterhole (SA)

On the 20th of December 2013 – thanks to the generous financial support of the Native Vegetation Council and Nature Foundation SA Inc. – Eaglehawk Waterhole became Nature Glenelg Trust’s first Habitat Restoration Reserve.

This project is proudly supported by:

Background Information on the property:

Eaglehawk Waterhole is a 684 ha private property in the Upper South East of South Australia, situated approximately 2 km west of the Little Desert National Park and state border with Victoria.

Although partly protected under conservation agreements, the vast majority of the property (510 hectares) has been farmed (grazed by sheep), but retains significant established tree, shrub and understorey cover, and a range of important biodiversity values that will respond favourably to protection, restoration and conservation management.

The property forms part of a general area (the Bangham district) with higher native vegetation remnancy that was highlighted as a priority zone for conservation activities in the Biodiversity Plan for the South East (Croft et al 1999). The property also retains important, currently unprotected habitat for species and communities listed under the EPBC Act 1999, such as the South-eastern Red-tailed Black-cockatoo and (the newly listed) Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands of the lowland plains.

This project will:

  1. enable perpetual protection & restoration of 510 hectares of grassy woodland, heathy woodland, heathland and wetland habitat in a strategic district where increasing landscape connectivity is a priority activity,
  2. grow the National Reserve System (NRS) estate in an under-represented bioregion,
  3. contribute to the recovery of EPBC Act listed species and communities, and
  4. provide a community hub and strategic demonstration site for the public to experience, learn about, & become involved in, large-scale habitat restoration.

The property satisfied several criteria that make it a high priority for restoration, namely:

  • Size: 510 hectares of the total property size (684 ha) will directly benefit from stock removal, natural regeneration and revegetation works as a result of this project. This will  constitute one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the South East region.
  • Location: it is strategically located within a district of high quality reserves in SA and Victoria, and improve landscape connectivity and ecological function between them (Bangham and Geegeela CP’s in SA and Little Desert NP in Victoria);
  • Existing condition: the current state of the property is highly conducive to full ecological recovery in a more rapid timeframe than would ordinarily be possible for a restoration project in an agricultural district, due to the level of remnant tree, shrub and understorey cover across the grazed portions (510 hectares) of the property. The remaining 174 hectares of the property are already fenced and in excellent condition, serving as reference areas, and providing a natural regeneration and revegetation seedbank.
  • Habitat complexity: the site includes a range of habitats and ecotones between each, including grassy woodland, heathy woodland, heathland and wetland habitats. It is unusual (but highly desirable) for a restoration project to cover such a diversity of soil and habitat types.
  • Biodiversity values: it retains biodiversity values (including EPBC Act listed species and communities) that will be significantly enhanced and improved through habitat restoration;
  • Heritage Agreement: the entire property will be suitable for inclusion in the National Reserve System (by being perpetually protected under Heritage Agreement).

The future:

Updates on the project will be posted on the NGT blog and linked to this project page (see below) – we hope you will take an active interest in our efforts to restore and manage this important property over the months and years ahead…!

  • 20 Million Trees planting events complete at Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mt Burr Swamp August 15, 2018 Over 8000 plants made their way into the ground recently after four days of planting by NGT staff and volunteers at two sites. Over 50 individuals were involved in the planting events at Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mount Burr Swamp Restoration Reserves. Seedlings were produced by NGT’s nursery, and included 27 species which were planted in ...
  • Upcoming planting event at Eaglehawk Waterhole – come and see how the place is bouncing back! July 6, 2018 In just a few weeks, a team of NGT staff and volunteers will be converging on Eaglehawk Waterhole to undertake this year’s revegetation plantings – and we’d love for you to join us. The past few years have seen large scale revegetation at this property, NGT’s first restoration reserve, and this year is no exception. Habitat ...
  • Planting season is nearly here – and yes, you can join us! May 10, 2018 It’s nearly that time of year again – planting season is upon us! Along with other staff and volunteers our nursery officer, Ryan, has been working hard all year to produce seedlings for this years’ revegetation efforts. Over the next couple of months we will be planting at a number of sites in our focal region, and ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole – February 2018 Update February 14, 2018 Our last Eaglehawk update was back in October 2017, where we reported on a successful day with the SE Association of Field Naturalists campout (link). An exciting component of our restoration efforts is seeing things we haven’t seen before like wildflowers emerging on the wet flats, rare birds using burnt areas and new plant or animal ...
  • Talking with ABC Radio about NGT’s success in the final round of 20 Million Trees grants February 14, 2018 In December 2017, the Australian Government announced the final round of grant recipients under the 20 Million Trees Program. Of the 52 projects approved for funding nationally, NGT was extremely fortunate to receive funding for two projects, to continue revegetation work on our two restoration reserves: Eaglehawk Waterhole and Mt Burr Swamp. If you’d like to hear ...
  • Field Naturalists tour of Eaglehawk Waterhole a great success October 29, 2017 The Annual AGM and Campout for the SE Field Naturalist Society was held last weekend at the Black Cockatoo Bush Camp. This campout brings together all Field Naturalist groups from around the region including Mt Gambier, Millicent, Naracoorte and Bordertown. On Saturday Oct 14th the group come out to Eaglehawk Waterhole for a tour around ...
  • Managing water on the flats at Eaglehawk Waterhole – a different kind of wetland restoration September 8, 2017 Thanks to the wet spring last year, we finally saw NGT’s Eaglehawk Waterhole (our restoration reserve in the Upper South East), back to looking at its best – with large areas of shallow seasonal wetland inundating the SA blue gum and buloke woodland flats for the first time since 2013. However, we also noticed that in a ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole update and completion of 20 Million Trees grant August 20, 2017 Saturday July 29th saw the last of our plants from our 3-year 20 Million Trees grant (from the Federal Government, National Landcare programme) put in the ground. This funding has enabled NGT to establish over 15,000 trees, shrubs and grasses over 70ha, to help species like the Red-tailed Black cockatoo which frequently feed on the property. ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole Update – planting, weeding and fauna surveys coming up! June 23, 2017 Saturday July 29th will be our final planting day this season for 6500 seedlings to go into the 70ha+ revegetation site we’ve been tackling over the last 3 years. We recorded a very handsome 90% survival rate from last year’s plantings and with Sam and Andy busy fumigating warrens, removing tree guards on seedlings that are ...
  • Revegetation season begins again June 23, 2017 With the arrival of winter, revegetation plantings have begun around the region with seedlings from NGT’s nursery being used in multiple projects. 2017 is the final year of our 20 Million Trees reveg project at Eaglehawk Waterhole, during which we will have planted over 15000 seedlings starting in 2015. This federal Landcare project aims to have ...


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