Imagine walking through a box-gum grassy woodland at dusk. It is a clear, warm, spring evening. Through the tops of the trees you can just see the russet-red sun setting over the Brindabella Mountains. The air is still and filled with the aroma of chocolate lilies, damp woodland soil and eucalypt leaves. Then, suddenly, the silence is broken by a soulful call in the distance. It’s a rare Bush Stone Curlew! The light is fading quickly, and you switch on your torch. There is a rustle in the undergrowth. Whatever is it? It’s too small to be a kangaroo or a wallaby. You shine your torch in the direction of the sound. Then, from behind a log, a small Bettong hops towards you – oblivious to your presence. It digs a little by your feet, then scoots into the undergrowth. As you scan the open, grassy woodland with your torch you realise that you are surrounded! Bettongs are hopping all around, digging the soil, scratching in the leaf litter. Smaller bandicoots run between them searching for grubs and bugs. The woodland is teeming with life, and you have just experienced something that no-one has experienced in Canberra for nearly 100 years! Welcome to the Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary!
Unique project, unique location
The Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary is on the edge of Canberra and it is a short drive from the City and the centres of Territory and National government. By excluding feral pests species with a specially designed fence, we will be able to reintroduce locally extinct species not seen for more than 100 years. The project is in a unique position to inform and transform our thinking about the future of conservation in Australia. In restoring the grassy woodland to its previous condition, we aim to provide, on the doorstep of the National Capital, a glimpse of the past as a reference point for enhancing our ecosystems in the future.
- To build, on the edge of the National Capital, Canberra, a 11.5 kilometre predator-proof fence enclosing a 450 hectare 'Sanctuary'.
- To create a nationally significant, community-led conservation project where research and learning are integral to the restoration process.
- To act as a catalyst for ambitious conservation thinking and the establishment of similar restoration projects in south-eastern Australia.
- To become a source of knowledge and expertise for ecosystem recovery elsewhere.
To find out more:
Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary website