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Junjira case study

Property Snapshot Jill O'Grady from Local Land Services with Ross Halfacree

Junjira is in the Capertee Valley, between Lithgow and Mudgee on the central tablelands of NSW. Ross Halfacree purchased the property in 2013 as a getaway from Sydney, where he and his family are based. They use Junjira for recreation and while historically it was probably used for livestock production, it has not been used for agriculture in at least 15 years.

The Capertee Valley is one of three breeding areas used by the critically endangered Regent honeyeater, a small woodland bird once common across eastern Australia. Junjira is one of the properties that is part of a project to enhance and restore habitat for the critically endangered Regent honeyeater.

Location: Capertee Valley, central tablelands

Size: 40 hectares

Enterprise: The property is used as a weekender for recreational purposes

Challenge Local Land Services, BirdLife Australia and the landholder working together

It’s estimated fewer than 500 Regent honeyeaters remain in the wild. Providing suitable habitat in areas where the bird breeds, in addition to other recovery activities, is essential to help bring them back from the brink of extinction.

In the mid-1990s BirdLife Australia volunteers commenced a revegetation project in the Capertee Valley, one of the most important places for the Regent honeyeater. Since it began, the project has established over 250 hectares of habitat.

On Junjira, in partnership with the previous property owner, BirdLife initiated a revegetation project to expand the area of box-ironbark woodlands as habitat for the Regent honeyeater. More than 3,000 trees and shrubs were planted on one area of the property.

The trees were planted a little too densely and thrived so much that were outcompeting each other for moisture, nutrients and light. The canopy area needed to be thinned in order to provide optimum flower production and therefore nectar which is a food source for the Regent honeyeater and other woodland birds.

Work being undertaken Regent honeyeater habitat project sign

Officers from Local Land Services Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Land Management worked together with the landholder to obtain a certificate under the Pasture Expansion section of the Land Management Code for uniform thinning.

Trees will be thinned to open up the canopy and encourage understorey growth and a more natural woodland.

The Code certificate outlines what stem density is required to ensure there is not over thinning or under thinning of the area.

A further planting is planned on Junjira. Like the previous plantings, the vegetation will be monitored and good forest management applied to ensure optimum Regent honeyeater habitat is developed. In association with other landholders in the district, the aim is to begin to develop a corridor for the birds.

“In the long term I would like to see us complete the further stages of planting on the site and have it attract the honeyeater and other birds.  I’d also like other people to look at the property and what we’ve done and maybe take away from that good ideas to increase the biodiversity of their real estate.

Working with all the areas of Local Land Services has been terrific.  They’ve been very professional. They provided me with all the information I needed to make decisions. They helped me with the science and they took into account the time that I had available. But above all, the passion and dedication they had was infectious and I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship.” 

-  Ross Halfacree, owner, Junjira

Fact file: Thinning area on Junjira

  • 40 ha lifestyle property in the Capertee Valley
  • Conservation plantings for the critically endangered Regent honeyeater had become too dense, and trees were beginning to compete for resources
  • Local Land Services authorised a certificate for thinning under Part 3 Division 2 of the Land Management Code so the woodland could be improved to a more natural state
  • Ecological thinning will open up the woodland and attract other threatened birds to the area

Download a PDF version of Junjira case study here
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