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…!

  • Liberating hundreds of trees at Eaglehawk Waterhole June 7, 2019 Squished and triangle-shaped Banksias are free to grow after they were removed from the confines of their tree guards at Eaglehawk Waterhole. It was our final National Volunteer Week event on Saturday 25th May, and despite the constant rain and cold weather, our NGT staff and volunteers managed to remove 400 tree guards from trees ...
  • Eaglehawk Waterhole – a great place to be this Saturday May 23, 2019 We have had a fantastic National Volunteer Week catching up with volunteers, meeting new people, and doing what we do best – conserving the environment! We have celebrated our volunteers at the NGT Mount Gambier Open Day, searched with keen eyes for the Orange-bellied Parrot, and listened to the sounds of dusk while surveying for ...
  • Food, flora, frogs and fun during National Volunteer Week – 20th to 26th May May 9, 2019 To prepare for National Volunteer week (20th to 26th May), NGT is publishing a series of posts dedicated to volunteers! They feature some great opportunities to volunteer with NGT in the lead up to, and during National Volunteer Week, as well as celebrate and highlight the amazing contribution and achievements of our volunteers. So come and ...
  • A day out at Eaglehawk Waterhole May 9, 2019 Eaglehawk Waterhole is a big and beautiful place in the Upper South East and NGT’s first habitat restoration reserve. Join us at Eaglehawk for a fun day out in nature, meeting new people and learning new skills. We will be liberating young trees from their tree-guards, checking tile grids for reptiles, and looking at the ...
  • Farewell to Andy, our longstanding caretaker of Eaglehawk Waterhole March 13, 2019 For over three years Andy Lines has been our amazing on-site caretaker at Eaglehawk Waterhole. He has systematically pulled and sprayed Salvation Jane over the entire property, fumigated extensive areas of rabbit warrens, mapped wetland boundaries with GPS, pulled down old fences, collected insects, recorded new species to the property (including Fiery Jewel Butterflies and ...
  • A long-awaited find! Sand Goanna spotted at Eaglehawk Waterhole for the first time December 19, 2018 Andy, our resident caretaker at Eaglehawk Waterhole, contacted me early one Sunday morning back in September with this photo of a large reptile he’d just seen. He’d been out fumigating rabbit warrens and said it “scared the %$#@ out of me… almost trod on it.” Well, I consulted the reference books to identify the creature and ...
  • 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 ...


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